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F1 US GP: Verstappen explains phantom stop and awkward retirement

United States Grand Prix – Race results

Max Verstappen has taken responsibility for his phantom pit-stop during the United States Grand Prix and explained why he parked up his car in an unfortunate position as gearbox gremlins forced only a second mechanical retirement for Red Bull in 2016.

In an eventful afternoon for the youngster, Verstappen was running a fourth at the Circuit of the Americas having passed Kimi Raikkonen during his second stint, only to pull into the pit-lane without having been asked to do so.

Arriving to his box with mechanics jumping into action, Verstappen revealed he simply believed he had been asked to come into the pit lane.

“They told me to push hard the lap before so I thought that was an indication to box,” he told reporters after the race. “So I drove into the pit lane and suddenly realised they didn't box me. That was definitely my fault and not very clever, but it didn't make any difference.

POINTS: Who sits where in the overall standings after the United States Grand Prix

With Verstappen's race ending only a few laps later when he suffered a gearbox failure, the Dutchman caused more headaches for his team when he pulled over in a position that would force a Virtual Safety Car, unintentionally hampering his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in his fight for second with Nico Rosberg.

However, Verstappen says it was the team urging him to continue before telling him to pull over, only to suffer a further issue with the car that would prevent it from being rolled back. With the car having to be removed by crane, the VSC was called, allowing Mercedes a 'free' stop to get Rosberg ahead of Ricciardo.

“The team told me to keep on going, I said there was a serious issue and at one point they told me to stop 'over there'. It was in neutral and then the car got stuck, then you can press the button on the top but it didn't work. Otherwise you could just push the car into the gap.”



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