Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Circuit de Catalunya, 2017

Red Bull ran Verstappen’s car without a drinks bottle in Australia

2017 Australian Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen has revealed he completed the Australian Grand Prix without being able to drink.

The 19-year-old said he was pleased with how he coped with the first race in Formula One’s more powerful and physically demanding cars.

Chinese Grand Prix practice in pictures
“It was actually alright,” he said. “I trained quite a bit more in the off-season period. For me it felt pretty similar to last year but I’m still getting older and stronger just by myself. It was alright.”

I didn’t have a drinks bottle as well, so it was all good.” Red Bull confirmed the bottle was not fitted to his car prior to the race.

The drinks bottle may have been left out to save weight. Red Bull uses Renault’s power units which are still running with their heavier, 2016-specification MGU-Ks due to reliability concerns.

Albert Park is one of the less strenuous circuits on the calendar and not among the hottest venues, making it less important for drivers to have a drinks bottle.

Verstappen played a crucial role in the outcome of the race when early leader Lewis Hamilton got stuck behind him and was overtaken through the pits by Sebastian Vettel.

The Red Bull driver said the team are “working hard to get new parts to the car soon and try to just get the pace up a bit and be closer to the top two teams.”

“Behind us is at the moment quite a big gap, as you could see. I think I could have done two pit stops in Melbourne and still have had the same position. We’ll see, on a normal race track here in Shanghai.”

2017 Australian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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Posted on Categories 2017 Australian Grand Prix, 2017 Chinese Grand Prix, 2017 F1 season

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  • 26 comments on “Red Bull ran Verstappen’s car without a drinks bottle in Australia”

    1. digitalrurouni
      7th April 2017, 16:23

      Ridiculous. Drinks bottle weighs that much that it slows an F1 car down!?

      1. I agree this is ridiculous.
        In the name of safety, the FIA should mandate a minimum amount of drinkable liquid that a driver must start with.

        1. In the name of safety… relax. He’s driving on an f1 circuit, not the Baja peninsula. If it got bad enough, he could have used one of those two free pit stops to come in for a can of redbull… or would you safety-Susan that too? Maybe he could choke on it, being in a hurry and all…

          Our governments are way too nanny state as it is, leave my inheirantly dangerous motorsports alone. Maybe try frisbee golf? racing obviously isn’t for you.

          1. +10000 So many nanny sissy whingers. There’s a pit lane every 1.5 minutes. Take your over-the-top safety nonsense to a tiddly-winks tournament. I’m sure there’s some safety glass rules being broken… go tell them off.

          2. In the name of safety they should not be allowed to start their engines. Let alone being allowed out on track at speed.. They could hit something.. Clearly unsafe.

      2. digitalrurouni, I think that Keith has been guilty of perhaps reading a little too much into Verstappen’s comment about the drinks bottle by then going on to assume that the team were trying to save weight.

        There have been more than a few instances in the past where drivers have gone without a drinks bottle in races where the conditions were cooler, since they usually had drunk enough prior to the race to not feel that thirsty during it.

        The air and track temperatures were not especially high in Melbourne – about the same as last year – so it may be that Verstappen simply felt that he didn’t need it to begin with rather than the team trying to find a way to save weight.

        Given the high internal temperatures within the rear bodywork, quite commonly the water bottle would be fairly warm by the time you begun drinking it. As a result, some drivers, such as Webber, commented in the past that they weren’t particularly keen on drinking from the drinks bottle during the race even when it was fitted as it tended to be a bit unpleasant to drink.

        Although saving weight wasn’t really an issue in his case, he usually tended to leave the drinks bottle out because he usually found it too unpleasant to drink and usually didn’t need it either. Meanwhile, Coulthard was famous for having his water bottle filled with tea instead, since he found it to be more palatable than a heated up isotonic sports drink (at least you expect tea to be hot).

        1. Regardless, in a new set of rules, much more downforce and G in corners, etc., it is very unwise not to at least have the option of having some fluids.

        2. There have been more than a few instances in the past where drivers have gone without a drinks bottle in races where the conditions were cooler, since they usually had drunk enough prior to the race to not feel that thirsty during it.

          And there have also been plenty of instances where the drinks bottle was confirmed as being dropped for weight saving, either because the car was overweight or the driver was larger, so he either voluntarily shed the bottle to save weight or he was forced to for competitive reasons.

          Sutil driving for Sauber in 2014 was the most recent until today.

          http://www.gpupdate.net/en/f1-news/308749/sutil-to-race-without-water-bottle-to-cut-weight/
          https://www.pitpass.com/51251/An-alarming-trend-as-Sutil-gives-up-drink
          http://www.crash.net/f1/news/201721/1/sutil-i-dont-even-have-a-water-bottle.html

          1. @optimaximal, what evidence do you have that Verstappen was “forced” to race without a water bottle?

            All we know is that he made what looks like a throwaway remark about not having a water bottle on board at the end of a discussion where he mentioned that he did not find the cars as physically demanding to drive as he had first expected – you are then defaulting to assuming that the only explanation is that they must be trying to save weight.

            Yes, there was the case of Sutil not racing with a water bottle in the past because the team were trying to save weight, though in the case of Sauber we also know that their car was significantly over the weight limit in 2014 (reportedly at least 15kg overweight). However, in the case of Red Bull, there would be less benefit as they are thought to already be just below the current weight limit, so the “saving weight” argument is a little more questionable.

    2. thats dedication as far as i can see – IF that WAS me i would have refused to drive. crazy

      1. I don’t think Verstappen or RBR who said it was left out to save weight, it seems to be an assumption of the writer @keithcollantine (could you confirm or correct this please, Keith?)

    3. Great job by Verstappen..

      But I have a silly question now: how do drivers talk on radio so clearly while having a straw in their mouth?

    4. This comment by Verstappen is more about his panache than his hydration levels.

    5. I’m sure the management at Red Bull Racing would complain if the cushions on their nice comfortable chairs were removed to save weight, and thus cost, when being air freighted around the world.

    6. Brilliant no drinks bottle for their driver and they are a drinks company.

      1. We are tremendously amused.

    7. So much for the physicality of the new cars then. A driver does the race without drink bottle and does barely notice.

    8. It was the drinks bottle that held the illegal suspension system that the FIA outlawed.

      1. Water bottle mass-damper.

    9. ::Insert “Red Bull gives you wings” joke here::

      Yeah… I know…
      Don’t get up, I’ll show myself out…

    10. It’s making me thirsty just thinking about this

    11. Josh (@canadianjosh)
      8th April 2017, 3:24

      Boo hoo, if a driver can’t drive a car for 2 hours without drinking he should be an engineer or a race fan. I’d love to hear Niki Lada comment on this.

    12. personal choice, seems reasonable.

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