Verstappen’s car damaged by debris from AlphaTauri drivers crash RaceFans

The damage that cost Max Verstappen a potential victory in the British Grand Prix was caused by debris from a collision between Red Bull junior team drivers.

Yuki Tsunoda and Pierre Gasly collided, leaving debris on the circuit which Verstappen hit shortly after. He first thought he had a puncture and entered the pits.

“There was no puncture,” explained Red Bull team principal Christian Horner. “It was so bad, it was like a flat tire.

“Basically on lap 11 he hit a piece of debris that was part of AlphaTauri, because of the incident they had. So he raced with a modified floor, with a piece of plate end cap AlphaTauri stuck under the bottom of the car.

The damage caused “a massive loss of downforce” on Verstappen’s car, Horner said. “So of course you rely on research to try to identify what is causing it. wasn’t like half the floor was hanging down.

“So it was hard to figure it out initially, that’s why Max reported a puncture, but it was actually a major update that happened.”

Verstappen’s run was “going well” until he recovered from the damage, Horner said. “You could see he was definitely faster than Carlos and he just didn’t want to get the tire off too soon and worked his way up the back of him, made the pass.

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“Then unfortunately literally a lap later he hit the debris. So he reported a puncture, but we couldn’t see it on the data, but then [you’ve] trust the driver, of course.

“So we pulled over as a precaution and then we saw there was some debris. In fact Carlos Sainz, I think, said that when he was following, pieces were coming out of the bottom of Max’s car.

Horner praised Verstappen’s efforts late in the race to salvage seventh place after being able to fit a new set of tires during a safety car period.

“On the medium tire he was obviously fighting as hard as he could but all of a sudden your racing becomes very focused on the cars you’re racing against, which were more Alpine and Aston at this stage.

“So we went with the hard tire to get to the end of the race because we thought that was our best way to finish P7. He struggled I think particularly with the injured car on the tire compound even more hard.

“So when we got to the safety car we have nothing to lose, we’ll either finish out of the points or put in a set of softs to see what we can do and he actually got past a few cars and then obviously fought extremely hard to hold on to that seventh place which you know was a precious six points.

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British Grand Prix 2022

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