Red Bull has played down the severity of Max Verstappen’s condition after FP1 at the Malaysian Grand Prix after it was reported he collapsed in the team’s garage.

Amid high temperatures on Friday – with the track temperature peaking at 61C – it was reported Verstappen collapsed at the back of the garage following the opening practice session due to the heat and dehydration. However, Red Bull denies the teenager – who turned 19 on Friday – suffered such a severe reaction to the conditions.

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“He didn’t collapse or faint,” a Red Bull spokesperson told F1i. “He was just light-headed after jumping out of the car, and took a moment to compose himself.”

Verstappen did not appear to be affected within the car, with the Dutch driver taking full part in FP2 in fifth place later the same day, finishing the session in fifth place. Verstappen then delivered another strong performance in final practice, finishing second overall, 0.4s slower than Lewis Hamilton.

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The Malaysian Grand Prix is known for being one of the toughest on the calendar from a physical point of view due to the heat and humidity, and this year the race comes two weeks after a similarly challenging race in Singapore.

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