Max Verstappen admitted he was “on autopilot” when he came into the pits without having been asked to during last weekend’s race.
The Red Bull pit crew had to scramble to service their car after the driver pulled into the pits my mistake and announced “I’m boxing” on the radio.
Verstappen said he’d “thought a lot about” the mistake since Sunday and explained he’d assumed his pit stop was due without checking it.
“I think at one point after racing already for almost an hour you get into a comfort zone, a bit on autopilot, and I think that’s what happened to me.
“I saw Daniel [Ricciardo] boxing in front of me the lap before and normally when you are close behind each other you go the next lap.”
“And then the guys told me to push hard. I was pushing hard and just suddenly I was like ‘I think I should box’. But then I turned around the corner and no one was there and I thought ‘I shouldn’t box’.”
Verstappen had pitted on the lap after his team mate at the first round of pit stops. He praised his team for completing the pit stop quickly despite not expecting him to arrive. “At the end of the day the crew still did a great job,” he said. “I was only 9.2 seconds with no tyres ready in the beginning.”
2016 United States Grand Prix
- Austin defeat in 2015 spurred Rosberg on to title
- Alonso beats Sainz to Driver of the Weekend win
- Verstappen “on autopilot” during pit stop error
- Virtual Safety Car blamed for US GP anti-climax
- 2016 United States Grand Prix team radio transcript