Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Bahrain International Circuit, 2018

Verstappen not to blame for Bahrain qualifying crash – Horner

2018 Chinese Grand Prix

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Christian Horner has cleared Max Verstappen of blame for his crash during Q1 in Bahrain after reports yesterday suggested he held his driver responsible.

The Red Bull team principal told Ziggosport his quotes had been mistranslated.

“The problem with these quotes, you make a quote in one language, by the time it goes through German into Dutch it ends up being a completely different story.

“I was asked the question did the throttle stick open, the last race. No, the thorttle didn’t stick open. We’ve had very poor gearshifts in that area which is a software issue on our side, not the Renault side.

“That’s what caused a really hard shift, [and] combined with Max being on the kerb is what caused the incident. Nothing more to it than that.

“Is Max at fault? No, other than that he was sitting in the car.”

Horner said the team is examining what went wrong on its car. “He had a very bad gearshift which is something we’re working on which has caused the issue.

“It’s not anything that Max has done wrong, that’s for sure,” Horner added.

Verstappen said Horner’s comments have set the record straight. “I think Christian today set everything right because I think yesterday he was misquoted,” he said. “So I have nothing else to add to that.”

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Keith Collantine
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37 comments on “Verstappen not to blame for Bahrain qualifying crash – Horner”

  1. I don’t believe him, first it was a sudden power surge that caused the accident, then RBR and Renault came out saying it was a driver mistake and after investigation that the power unit didn’t cause the incident.

    Horner gets interviewed by ZiggoSport and says it was a driver mistake, later he gets seen in the hospitality area of RBR talking with Marko Helmut, and later he says it was a software glitch (an excuse for alot it seems).

    Mistranslating from english to dutch is not that hard since the languages are both Germanic, and most people in the netherlands can speak very good english

    1. I do believe him, simply because this would fit the explanation Verstappen gave (gearbox software would cause a sudden spike in power) and because it fits with Renault’s explanation (not our fault). That being said, it’s really weird, this constant seeking of excuses. It’s a crash, it happens. Nobody suddenly rates Verstappen less because of a Q crash.
      Also, the mistranslation was from German to Dutch, not English. It was with AMuS first.

      1. Even wore
        Se, the interview was in English, then written down in German, and translated to Dutch…

        But you’re right, why this story keeps dragging on is weird.

      2. @hahostolze – that’s a practical and sensible explanation. Also, LOL for your comment below :-)

      3. @hahostolze
        I agree with you and don’t rate him less because of his crash if it wasn’t his problems unlike Bottas.
        My concern still is why haven’t they changed the gearbox if it took them a week to find the issue and is still may happen

        1. Because it’s software, which doesn’t require a change I guess?

          1. @hahostolze
            Yes, but if so the software glitch could’ve damaged the gearbox, because if it gives you a hard gearshift, it can definetly ruin the gearbox

    2. You mean “speak English really well”?

      1. Bart Argeloos
        21st April 2018, 7:44

        Excellent, so you very well understood that he meant the Dutch are generally quite good at speaking English. Pedant much?

  2. Interestingly, Motorsport haven’t updated or retracted their article.

    1. @phylyp
      I think they don’t belive it just like me

    2. @phylyp Oooh… are owned by Zak Brown’s company, he runs McLaren, McLaren have a Renault engine, don’t want it to be a Renault issue … (kidding ;-))

  3. Whatever fits your’e narrative

    Verstappen is not known for lying

    1. maybe then he exaggerate what he felt? or maybe did lie for a mistake? who is to know. too much analysis of this. it looked like Verstappen binned it, and yes he binned it. move on. e

  4. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    14th April 2018, 11:54

    I always struggle to believe anyone sayign their driver wasn’t at fault when it took them over a week to come up with the reason. If other teams drivers have an issue, they usually report it the same day. Horner at first said that Verstappen made a mistake. I don’t see why he would change his mind. And it also wasn’t necessary for Verstappen to push hard for another lap. He already had a good lap. They just said to calibrate it better. And the definition of calibrate is to carefully assess, set, or adjust something. He didn’t need to flaw it which is why I have to heavily blame him even if the team said there was an issue. The fact was, he didn’t need to be trying as hard as he was at this stage. None of the other drivers in Red Bull Mercedes or Ferrari did another lap.

    1. You seem to forget there already was a calibration problem. The sudden spike in power was the cause of the spin/crash the calibration problem was the root.

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        14th April 2018, 14:31

        My point is that he wasn’t just doing another lap to set things up, he looked to be trying as hard as possible down the straight and into the first corner. That wasn’t necessary.

        1. Dear Ben Rowe,
          RBR order him to do another lap to calibrate the engine mapping, in order to calibrate right it needs to be a good reference, so doing a slow lap would not help a single bit. Tough Verstappen said he absolutely wasn’t pushing, neither was he full throttle.

          Apart from that the RBR driver do have lot of issues currently, the car is working on topspeed, mapping is working correctly and shifting is not like they want. The vin sheering of at Australia didn’t sheer of on the kerbs and did happen in winter testing as well.

          Main thing, the driver in the car knows best how a car reacts, regardless if it’s Hamilton or Eriksson, they will feel every little adjustment. When Verstappen spun, Robert Doornbos (former F1 driver) knew immediately this wasn’t a driver related issue. The fans know better and the media got their story.

          1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
            14th April 2018, 19:16

            The main thing that puzzles me is that before he crashed, he was going well over 300kmh in 8th gear then slamming on the brakes into the first corner (just like he was trying to go as fast as possible. Then lost it on the following corner. I didn’t hear Verstappen say this, but I do not see in the slightest how he absolutely wasn’t pushing…

            I remember him saying he was at 90% throttle at the time of the spin, but I still don’t see how he had no input towards the mistake. Even if it would have been worthless to the team if he did a slow lap, from the replay, he didn’t need to go that fast surely.

            But I still find it hard to believe it when things have such a delayed confirmation of what the issue was. Especially when the person confirming it said something different at first. I do believe that Verstappen had this power boost, the team also confirmed this pretty soon after, but there was nothing saying that this was what was 100% the reason why Verstappen crashed. Until much later.
            Until he started describing everything himself and trying to come up with reasons to why it happened, it was only then nearly a week later that it seems to have been cleared. But I still think he went too wide before his issue got him. I don’t think that surge will have effected him quite that badly if he hadn’t chosen to go wide onto the kerb, which in order to calibrate a lap better, surely isn’t the tidiest way to do things. It may have been unlucky that it happened to him there, but if he’s stuck on the track, I think he could have kept hold of it.

      2. Renault confirmed there wasn’t a spike in power, it was down to driver input…

        1. Untrue, there was a peak, that was clear almost imediately, the question was how come there was a peak..
          The peak wasn’t Renault related, there’s where the engine supplier is not responsable.

          Horner pretty well explained it all saturday morning, the power delivery from the actuall pedal to the engine and gearbox is far from ideal and very (to) radical, apart from that there are issues when driving in racemode at top speed.

          The driver will always have a part in spinning, it is he that drives the car, but the car is designed to perform on the limits. When the response of the car gets radical and unpredictable like it was during the calibration lap it’s can lead to unexpected events like spinning off.

          It’s like the same laim discussion from last year that a driver if to rough on the material and therefore blows his own engines, brakes, gearboxes etcetera. The team is responsable for a fast and reliable car, the driver to drive it fast as possible. We don;t blame Ricciardo for his car t fail either.

  5. Is anything ever Verstappen’s fault? Just asking…..

    1. Suppose you not liking him is his fault

      1. That’s how it works?

      2. @hahostolze I’ve no issue with Max but a bit of humility wouldn’t go astray.

  6. I get the impression there’s politics involved. Horner is managing the redbull Renault relationship or something

    1. @anunaki Agreed. In interviews, Horner hasn’t been dealing stabs towards Renault as he would do in previous seasons when Renault structurally failed to deliver.

      1. @br444m why would he stab Renault for a Red Bull issue? See that the problem with RBR, they are very vocal and quick to blame their partners, even when the problem is on their side. And even so they do very little (if anything) to get Renault coming clean out of it.

  7. The whole oscillating foot remark was aired last Friday, not a week ago. It took Horner lone day to set the record straight.

    Curious why one would not believe what Horner says now but do believe the Friday statement. Might it be that the first suggested some wrong in their driver? Surely nobody is so shallow to only accept what they want to hear?

    1. For me it was strange to hear max say one thing and Horner something else. I believe max is generally a very honest guy in his comments.

  8. After so many years making contradictory statements, obviously you can not believe a single word of what Horner says.

  9. Why has this topic been stretched this far? It should have been perfectly clear after the race weekend (at worst) whether Max was at fault or not, and it astounds me that Horner is still having to explain the incident a week later. Either people are extremely blind or Max’s crash isn’t something Red Bull want to discuss properly.

    Either way, I don’t care about this at all anymore, especially now that we have another Grand Prix mere hours away.

    1. Right after Max spun in Q1 Robert Doornbos, former RBR driver and these days TV host had whats-app contact with team members that confirmed his though of this being nt a drivers error, but a setting problem. This was on TV already aftr Q2.

      I do think there’s politics involved though, Verstappen said right after quali he did not understand the car, it delivered the power quite radical and unexpected. Then it stayed quite for a while and Horners initial statement came out.
      Rumours has it RBR can’t speak bad about Renault and they put on some pressure.
      Friday dutch TV stumbled upon Helmut Marko and Christian Horner argueing and the days after Horner twisted his previous words… lost in translation he said, but the explanation he gave was very different form his previous words and on top different from what Verstappen had mentioned.

      the issue know a the ‘foot gate’

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        14th April 2018, 19:30

        I hear a commentator called David Coulthard who drove for RBR. He and Bed Edwards are usually praise Verstappen really highly, but both blamed him at the time, and even when Coulthard heard about the issue more recently, I thought he did a did a reasonable job at describing why he still thought Verstappen was at fault. Basing it on a driver that has once driven for Red Bull doesn’t really mean much. And if they had contact with something and they knew the reason, why didn’t it come out sooner? And why would the team boss be wrong to start with? I know and I should accept what Horner has said now, but it is so strange that he himself has clearly said 2 totally different things in the same language. I saw one of the interviews in English on Channel 4 when he said Verstappen was to blame. In the sort of voice where he really didn’t want to admit his driver had binned it. (this was after Verstappen mentioned that he thought is was a surge in power) Now he seemed to say different. I really find it hard which one to trust… If these were issues with any car, teams are usually really fast to come up with the reason, which is why I’m not really completely convinced by this. I don’t want to be against Verstappen, but given he has made quite some mistakes this season, that I wouldn’t be surprised if he had some input towards the crash. And I think just going onto the kerb before the power kicked in made things much worse. But it was unlucky that it happened then.

        1. Verstappen drove the car he spinned on his own, therefore is always guilty.

          Some just don’t want an explanation they make their own story

  10. Geez Louise the car was in the barrier one grand prix ago. The guy stuck it in the wall–it happens. Move on, Horner. These constant narrative revisions and retractions are tiresome.

  11. Dual clutch gear boxes in modern cars will be harsh in sport setting when going in a straight line. A big reason they are faster than manual on a track is because you can shift mid corner without upsetting the car, unlike a manual. The reason is the software slips the clutch to make the shift smooth if there is steering angle. I buy the glitch in software theory.

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