F1 News: Max Verstappen 'Broken' After Imola Grand Prix - 'Everything Is Hurting'

Max Verstappen clinches a victory at the Emilia Romagna GP amid severe physical discomfort.

Max Verstappen emerged victorious at a tense Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, but admitted to significant physical strain post-race. The Red Bull driver described feeling "broken" and in pain due to the kerbs on the track.

Despite clinching a hard-fought victory at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Max Verstappen's immediate concerns were not about the trophy but rather the toll the race took on his body. Suffering from significant physical strain due to the demanding nature of the Imola circuit, Verstappen confessed to being "broken" by the race's end, with his victory marred by both discomfort and tire challenges.

The race began under favorable conditions for Verstappen, who secured a strong start, distancing himself from McLaren's Lando Norris by 1.5 seconds early on. Despite this initial gap, the race was far from a comfortable cruise for the Dutch driver, who faced escalating difficulties as tire degradation started to kick in. The switch from medium to hard tires didn't play out as hoped, significantly affecting his race performance.

"The whole race I had to push flat out to try and make a gap initially," Verstappen explained post-race. "On the medium tires we were quite strong. On the hard tires, it was more difficult to manage, especially the last 10 to 15 laps."

As the laps wore on, so did the tires, and with it, Verstappen's comfort levels. The hard tires did not offer the grip he had hoped for, compelling him to fend off a rapidly closing Norris. In a reflection of courage and precision, he managed to maintain his lead despite the deteriorating condition of his tires.

"I had no grip anymore. I was sliding a lot. I saw Lando closing in. The last 10 laps were flat out. It's difficult when the tires were not working anymore and you have to go flat out. I couldn't afford to make too many mistakes. Luckily we didn't," he recounted.

However, the physical challenges posed by Imola's notorious kerbs compounded his woes, translating into not just a victory, but a survival of the fittest. Verstappen detailed the physical aftermath of the race, highlighting the severe impact it had on his body.

"I'm just broken from the bumps, to be honest," he admitted on the F1TV broadcast. "My back, everything is hurting. It’s not so much from the physical side of things, but just it was so bumpy out there. Already after like 20 laps, I could really feel my back. So I'm just looking forward to laying in bed. Maybe take some painkillers. And a massage," Verstappen shared.

Despite these struggles, Verstappen and his team could take solace in their technical and strategic achievements across the weekend, echoing a sense of satisfaction and relief amidst the physical pain.

"We changed a lot on the car. We didn't have a lot of information in the race. Maybe that's why on the hard tires it was more difficult. From where we started the weekend to now, we can be incredibly pleased with pole and the win," Verstappen concluded.

Alex Harrington


Alex is the editor-in-chief of F1 editorial. He fell in love with F1 at the young age of 7 after hearing the scream of naturally aspirated V10s echo through his grandparents' lounge. That year he watched as Michael Schumacher took home his fifth championship win with Ferrari, and has been unable to look away since.