A 150bhp surge in power caused Max Verstappen’s crash in Q1 while his team was trying to investigate an engine problem, the Red Bull driver has revealed.
Verstappen’s qualifying session ended when he spun into the barriers at turn two. The Red Bull driver revealed he had a series of power delivery problems during the weekend including poor drive-ability and a shortfall in top speed. He was heard describing the latter on his team radio during practice yesterday.
His Q1 crash occured after he had already set a time quick enough to get into Q2. Verstappen explained he was “doing an extra lap to calibrate everything because every time I was in that set of faster modes I had a problem – I was three, four tenths slower than what it should be. In the third practice I was second but I lost four-tenths from the engine not having the power.
“[In qualifying] it was not as much as in the practice but there was still problems in the straight, it was not the deployment I wanted. So the team told me to do another lap to try and calibrate it better. Clearly I couldn’t finish the lap.”
He described how he was caught out by a spike in power delivery during his extra lap.
“Turn two is, especially in Q1, not flat. It’s 95% throttle. Somehow from one to the other lap I got 150 horsepower extra on the rear tyres. It kicked in and over-slipped the rear tyres and made me spin.”
“It was the same line, same throttle,” he added, “you can see the speed trace it’s exactly the same and suddenly you can see the 150 horsepower kicking in and a lot more wheelspin.”
The Red Bull driver said he consulted the data from the crash immediately afterwards as it came as a “big surprise.”
“It’s never happened to me before in my career, something like that. Of course I’ve had crashes in qualifying but that’s like going off the track, out-braking yourself.”
The crash means Verstappen is set to start 15th on the grid. “Of course I was disappointed to crash the car but more so because I knew we had a great race car,” he said. “Not necessarily in qualifying but in the race we would definitely have been very strong.”
“Of course when you can start in the first two rows then you know you make it a lot easier. I’m still confident we can have a good race.”
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33 comments on “Verstappen explains why he was doing an extra lap in Q1 when he crashed”
7th April 2018, 21:24
It’s going to be a looooong RBR-Renault blame game season again.
7th April 2018, 21:30
Don’t think so. RBR is more concerned with the Honda engine they won’t have time to annoy Renault too much this time around
7th April 2018, 21:28
Deep down it seems Renault isn’t that much better than Honda.
7th April 2018, 21:53
Sorry to be a nuance, but you keep mentioning radio chatter…
7th April 2018, 22:02
Computer decided to add 150hp in the wrong place. Driver wrecks.
8th April 2018, 2:04
Max has a computer on his right foot? Max is under tremendous pressure, he needs to perform he’s no better than Bottas both are really bad bad drivers.
8th April 2018, 6:51
Hahahaha nice one mate, are we watching the same Formula 1?
8th April 2018, 16:10
@skipgamer Sarcasm? Irony? @patrickl I read it, it’s called humour and sarcasm.
8th April 2018, 9:42
Would would we believe the driver if a tea leaf reader can tell us the truth.
8th April 2018, 10:41
@peartree How about actually reading the article instead of this trolling?
7th April 2018, 22:08
Hopefully it will not be another season with a dozen technical issues for Max
Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
8th April 2018, 9:50
Many people don’t seem to realise Verstappen wasn’t the driver who had the most technical issues last year. Ricciardo was the one with the most. That said, if you are just making point about Verstappen having issues last year, then yes, he certainly did have a lot more than the majority of the grid.
8th April 2018, 11:01
You can always discuss about these things of course. It probably was Alonso overall. I know Max had 2 DNFs more than RIC and RIC got hit by Max ones. I must admit I’m a fan of Max so I follow him in more detail than other drivers.
What I meant with my comment was that I hope he’ll not be struck be a lot of technical issues this year like last year. I hope the same for RIC, or any other driver. Just let them race
Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
8th April 2018, 11:28
That is fine :) I should respect you like Verstappen. I’m basically the same with Bottas as I follow him very closely. But at this stage, we’ve still only heard this comment from Verstappen, not the team. As my longer post below points out, I think we need confirmation from the team before I can agree this fault was what triggered Verstappen to make a mistake. At the moment, I personally think he certainly had some input towards the mistake, but my view will change if the team themselves explain the issue.
7th April 2018, 22:09
So the Renault “party mode” is quite unpredictable and starts it’s own party when it feels up to it.
BTW It’s illegal for the ECU to change power output without the driver telling it too. There has to be some proportionality to the throttle input from the driver. That was agreed to make sure that traction control systems are not possible.
7th April 2018, 22:32
Horner also mentioned something about the lap being of an educational nature for the PU.
Bridge Wilson (@gwbridge)
7th April 2018, 23:43
“BTW It’s illegal for the ECU to change power output without the driver telling it too. There has to be some proportionality to the throttle input from the driver. That was agreed to make sure that traction control systems are not possible.”
@patrickl Exactly what I was going to say!
Wikipedia: “Telemetry is an automated communications process by which measurements and other data are collected at remote or inaccessible points and transmitted to receiving equipment for monitoring. The word is derived from Greek roots: tele = remote, and metron = measure.”
The connection between F1 cars and the pits is supposed to be for measurement, NOT remote control. This ought to be impossible for safety reasons as this accident clearly demonstrates. What if Max had been injured or killed?
If I had my way, the engine mode selected in a car’s fastest lap in qualifying ought to be recorded and then locked in parc ferme, and the car should have to complete the race in that mode and be verified at the finish.
7th April 2018, 23:51
It is misleading to say the ecu can not change the power output. ECU can not, mgu control unit can.
From the rules:
5.5 Power unit torque demand :
5.5.1 The only means by which the driver may control acceleration torque to the driven wheels is
via a single foot (accelerator) pedal mounted inside the survival cell.
5.5.2 Designs which allow specific points along the accelerator pedal travel range to be identified by
the driver or assist him to hold a position are not permitted.
5.5.3 At any given engine speed the driver torque demand map must be monotonically increasing
for an increase in accelerator pedal position.
5.5.4 At any given accelerator pedal position and above 4,000rpm, the driver torque demand map
must not have a gradient of less than – (minus) 0.045Nm/rpm.
Those are for the combustion engine. The electric energy deployment (out from the energy store) can be done any way they want as long as some limits are not exceeded (4MJ at 120kW per lap). As such the teams create maps of the tracks to optimise this energy deployment for certain parts of the track. To save fuel or get fastest lap without worrying about energy harvesting. Or some combination of both.
And here is a news article about it:
(computer controls how much energy is harvested or consumed at different parts of the track)
8th April 2018, 2:17
I suppose you can hardly call it traction control if it puts the car into the fence.
Anyway, Max was the guy asking his engineers for more aggressive deployment so must take some of the responsibility.
8th April 2018, 2:39
On the contrary since it put the car in the wall when it failed it is indeed traction control ;)
These are the kind of automated crap that i dont wanna see in motorsport. MotoGP is even more full of it and everything just goes smooth on rails. Give the cars/bikes back to the drivers please.
8th April 2018, 13:48
99% of the time it works like a traction control by limiting how much power you have. Of course the actual implementation is the opposite. Hybrid energy deployment is controlled by a computer. Traction control happens when the computer does not give you any extra electric energy. The drive is asking 100% but the computer only gives you 100% combustion engine power with no electric power.
In traditional traction control the system controls and limits the engine power. Once it detects enough slip the system reduces engine power by cutting ignition for example (or use the brakes in road car).
So one system is programmed to not give you too much power in certain place of the track while the other one is programmed to limit wheelspin while giving as much power as possible. Both systems can also have their own issues. Poor traction control can cut in too quickly. Even in some road cars the traction control will step in early and aggressively which can cause problems for the driver. A tire works best when it slips a little bit. With hybrids it is possible to program the system to deploy its energy in the wrong place which can make the driver get more power suddenly (or lose time if the deployment map is not optimal).
In the end verstappen did not get too much power in the wrong place of the track. Corner exits are the places where the energy is deployed because using it there gives the best bang for the buck. However in verstappen’s case the deployment was maybe half a second too soon. He was still in the corner not in corner exit when the energy was deployed. I think partly the reason for it is the type of corner. Very fast corner leading to long straight. The various sensors in the car may think there is more grip than there really is. Or it was a simple programming mistake. Too aggressive deployment.
7th April 2018, 22:16
When he was 2nd there was still 4 tenths unexplored potential. Red Bull really had managed to had a great party mode.
Bridge Wilson (@gwbridge)
7th April 2018, 23:45
@ruliemaulana Not so great when it puts you in the wall.
ADUB SMALLBLOCK (@waptraveler)
7th April 2018, 23:56
I have a different take on this. Yes, probably what caused his spin. But when I see this, it is one more indication to me the “drivers” (and yes, I’m not even on the same planet with them) are “managing” the car as much or more that they are “driving” it. Sad.
David Not Coulthard (@davidnotcoulthard)
8th April 2018, 1:16
@waptraveler Managing has most of the time very much been in f1 though, For example, drivers had to be considerate as to when they applied boost.
8th April 2018, 2:42
As long as its the driver that applies the boost its ok but clearly its not the case with the computer controlled ers systems. The drivers should be driving and not programming autopilots.
8th April 2018, 6:44
Sounds plausible. Still a shame though. Whether his fault or not, like in Australia, his season really needs to improve quickly.
Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
8th April 2018, 9:48
Well, I heard him say this in an interview about 30 minutes after qualifying. The team still haven’t confirmed that this specific problem actually was what caused him to crash. And if there is a problem, teams are usually very quick to mention it. Kimi spun twice in Canada at the same corner during the race a couple of years in a row I think. Both times, I think he blamed it on unexpected power delivery at leased one of the two occasions but we only blamed him for it. Though he only spun and didn’t crash.
Although he said the team did say to try to do another lap, I can’t understand why that was necessary as he was quicker than Hamilton and 4th. And even when they restarted. No driver behind him managed to beat his time. If it was just to check his setup, he only needed to go quicker in certain parts, not do a fast lap all the way round.
Horner just said it just looked like he made a mistake in turn 2. In the sort of voice like he really didn’t like admitting that one of his drivers had made a mistake. A team boss would usually know if there was definitely a reason for it. He sounded like Toto Wolf when Bottas had crashed last weekend. Until the team confirm this power boost certainly caused the issue, I think Verstappen was still mainly responsible himself at the moment.
Most drivers usually come up with a reason why they have crashed without the team confirming it and I tend not to believe them. Ericsson said the reason why he crashed in Monaco last year was because of over heated breaks and cold tyres. Sounded pretty reasonable if I’m honest as he was supposed to be overtaking the safety car to unlap himself so he had to pick up a bit of speed to do this. But then he crashed. The team never confirmed this was why he crashed which is why I can only blame him. Drivers often come up with good excuses but with no proof from the team.
I will happily agree that Verstappen wasn’t at fault if Red Bull explain the issue themselves, but as they haven’t yet, I’m just not convinced that this was the reason for Verstappen spinning. It could well have been partly responsible, but as he’d already done a fast lap, I think he was juts pushing a bit harder than he needed to. It’s not like we didn’t see that from him during the race in Australia.
8th April 2018, 11:49
The (torque mapping?) software gave problems all weekend, they wanted to calibrate it or something. Max was really dissapointed because he believes top 3 was possible. That’s in contrast with the comments of RIC bte but maybe Max is just that much quicker
Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
8th April 2018, 12:18
Top 3 may have been possible. But in one of the top 3 teams, you do not need to push very hard in Q1….
That is one reason why I personally blame him. I often noticed last year, Hamilton was behind Bottas in Q1 and Q2 and then unleashing his performance in Q3. I don’t think Verstappen needed to try that hard since he’s already done a run that was easily good enough for Q2. In a top team, you need to push hardest on your 2nd run in Q3, not where Verstappen did, (especially since he’d already done a decent lap). I understand why the team wanted him to do another, but it didn’t need to be faster. The definition of calibrate is to carefully assess, set, or adjust something. I don’t think he needed to flaw the whole lap… He would have been able to tell if his issue was fixed just by the speed on the straight if what he says is correct. No other driver in the top 3 teams attempted a quicker time so the time surely didn’t matter. I personally am pretty doubtful that it will have been likely that Verstappen could have been 6 tenths faster than Ricciardo which will have been the case if Verstappen improved by as much as he thought he could.
8th April 2018, 13:58
Max wasn’t pushing when he crashed. Even Horner said he wasn’t going faster than the 1st run.
anyway, no need to discuss this anymore…. let’s go to the race in a couple of hours. Hope you enjoy it (Y)
Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
8th April 2018, 14:21
Yes, no problem. We don’t have to agree with everything :)
It should be a good race yes.
8th April 2018, 18:40
Yes, he was really disappointed bc he crashed a car capable of a very good result. Ric P4/5, Max P15. Horner, even he, said it was, probably, a driver error. Hope you enjoy the truth.
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