Red Bull investigating ERS issue as fire prematurely ends Max Verstappen’s Friday

Red Bull are investigating an ERS problem on Max Verstappen's car which emerged during second practice.

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 9, Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal, Canada, Practice
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 9,…

Red Bull are investigating an energy recovery system (ERS) problem which prematurely ended Max Verstappen’s Friday at the F1 Canadian Grand Prix.

Championship leader Verstappen had completed just four laps during second practice at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve when he suffered a fire on his RB20 and was forced to return to the pits.

Smoke poured from the rear of Verstappen’s Red Bull as he made his way into the pitlane and the Dutchman was then seen jumping clear from his car. Tape was placed around the car and his crew were not allowed to touch it - pointing towards a possible electrical issue.

When the car was deemed safe to work on, Red Bull mechanics frantically attended to the rear-end of Verstappen’s car.

Red Bull eventually confirmed it was an ERS issue, meaning Verstappen could take no further part in the session and missed about 30 minutes of running.

Verstappen had a new ICE, turbo, MGU-H and MGU-K fitted into his Red Bull on Friday morning for opening practice.

“Yeah unfortunately FP2 not many laps for me, there was a suspected electrical issue so they told me to box, and they’re investigating now. I haven’t been back in the garage yet, but I’m sure soon we’ll figure out what it is,” Verstappen said.

“It’s not ideal, I would have liked to drive more laps. Some other people had a few more laps in the dry, a few more laps now in the wet, so it’s definitely not how I would have liked to get on in FP2.

“But I think it’s more important to just figure out what actually happened, and what kind of implications that will have for this weekend or the rest of the year.”

The three-time world champion has a 31-point lead over Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in the drivers’ standings heading into this weekend’s race.

Verstappen could only finish sixth last time out in Monaco as Red Bull were hampered by ride problems. The team anticipate similar challenges over the high kerbs at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. 

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