Red Bull motorsport consultant Helmut Marko believes Max Verstappen blew the chance to win the Chinese Grand Prix by clashing with Sebastian Vettel in the closing stages.
Red Bull turned the Shanghai race on its head by pitting both Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo under a late Safety Car period for fresh tyres, allowing them to attack at the end. Verstappen fell behind Ricciardo after a getting wide during an overtaking attempt on Lewis Hamilton before trying an opportunistic lunge on Vettel on lap 43.
Verstappen and Vettel made contact, pitching both men into a spin and earning the Dutch youngster a 10-second penalty which eventually relegated him to fifth. Marko, the man who oversees the career of every Red Bull driver through the junior ranks to F1, admitted after the race the Dutchman was pushing too hard.
"Max overdid it by trying to overtake Vettel," Marko told Movistar. "Yes, it was a mistake from him. He apologised. That can happen in racing."
Vettel and Verstappen were seen talking after the race. The Dutchman took full responsibility for the incident in the TV media pen immediately after that.
When asked if he knew what Vettel had told Verstappen, Marko said: "That his time will come. He just shouldn't overdo it. He knows what he lost.
"There was a victory for him on the table, but he gave it away. But still it was a very good drive from both our drivers. He is 19 or 20, he's bloody young, and it can happen."