It was all looking quite routine for Max Verstappen until about three-quarters of the way through the race. He’d built his lead over Lando Norris’ McLaren to around 6s in the first stint on his medium compound tyres and now in the second stint of this one-stop race on the hard tyres, he was just maintaining that gap.

He had grabbed pole, led from the start, pulled out of undercut reach, routinely ticked the boxes of victory in a way he’s done countless times before. But around 20 laps into the second stint, his hold on the race began to loosen.


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