Verstappen led every lap on his way to claiming what appeared to be a routine sixth win of the season as he equalled Ayrton Senna’s career total of 41 victories.
But Verstappen’s route to taking his fourth consecutive win was not entirely straightforward, with the Dutchman striking a bird while exiting the Turn 8/9 chicane.
“I think I hit a bird!” Verstappen was heard telling his team over the radio during Sunday’s 70-lap race.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner revealed that the remains of the bird that Verstappen hit got stuck behind the front right brake of his RB19 for the rest of the race.
“There were some changes going into yesterday and from what I could hear in the race, I think other drivers were struggling as well,” Horner said.
“They struggled to get temperature into the car and generating the energy when there’s only sort of six corners here and long straights.
“To get the heat into the tyre, you could see the lap times were quite variable for all of the drivers at certain points in time where they could generate tyre temperatures.
“But he was able to manage that. The biggest moment he had was hitting a bird that did half the race behind the front right brake duct. But a very very controlled race by him.”
Asked to clarify if the bird was lodged in the brake duct, Horner replied: “Yes, the remains of the bird.”
Verstappen had another hair-raising moment later in the race at the same chicane as he experienced a bumpy ride over the kerbs.
“I almost knocked myself out on that kerb!” Verstappen chuckled.