Red Bull reveal extent of damage to Max Verstappen’s car after rare error

Red Bull have revealed the damage Max Verstappen picked up when he struck a bollard in Miami.

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB20. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 6, Miami Grand Prix, Miami, Florida, USA, Race
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB20. Formula 1 World Championship,…

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says Max Verstappen sustained significant floor damage after hitting a bollard in the F1 Miami Grand Prix.

Verstappen appeared in control of the early stages of Sunday’s race in Miami but the reigning world champion made a rare error when he skipped over the Turn 15 chicane and wiped out a bollard.

The Dutchman would go on to finish second to Lando Norris after the McLaren driver capitalised on a Safety Car period to jump into the lead, before pulling clear of Verstappen.

Unusually, Verstappen was unable to keep pace with Norris in the final stint and ended up finishing over seven seconds behind.

After the race, Horner revealed Verstappen had picked up “quite a lot of damage” to the floor of his RB20.

“I don't think we had a great balance all weekend,” Horner said.

“Obviously, he hit the bollard around lap 20 and that has actually done quite a lot of damage to the underside of the car, so we will have to look at exactly what the effect of that was.

“It is a reasonable amount of the area around the left rear floor. There is a reasonable amount that's missing and you can see it awfully flexing as well, so it certainly wouldn't be helping.”

Horner said Red Bull calculated the damage as costing Verstappen as much as two-and-a-half tenths every lap.

"He lost two and a half tenths every lap in turn one," Horner added.

"Now whether that was because of the damage, I think when you actually see the pictures of what was missing it wasn't designed like that.”

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing in the post race FIA Press Conference. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 6, Miami
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing in the post race FIA Press Conference…

Horner’s claim appeared to contradict Verstappen’s immediate comments after he got out of his car.

“I never really felt comfortable the whole weekend with it,” the three-time world champion admitted. “I think on the medium it was still OK-ish, but on the hard it was quite a disaster.

"I mean, just low grip, just very tricky balance in the low-speed. I couldn't really lean on the rear while in the high-speed I was understeering a lot.

“So when you have these two issues, you cannot also balance it out because you're chasing two different things. So yeah, just driving to the grip that I had and it was not a lot.”

On the bollard strike and picking up possible damage, Verstappen added: “I decided to take it out and test the durability of the front wing as well.

"So that's a crash test done. Yeah, there was no damage. The cone was out of the way for everyone, so it was basically a free-for-all after that.

“It didn't feel different, so I don't know. Maybe it was already damaged. I don't know. I mean I hit that thing and then my pace was the same so I didn't really know if there was damage.” 

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