Red Bull mechanics fix Max Verstappen's rear wing, Circuit of the Americas, 2019

Red Bull suspect bumps caused crack in Verstappen’s wing

2019 F1 season

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Red Bull suspect the “viciousness” of the bumps at the Circuit of the Americas caused the crack they discovered in Max Verstappen’s rear wing.

The team chose to fit a new wing on the grid before the start of the race after a mechanic noticed the damage to Verstappen’s car.

“We discovered a small hairline crack,” explained team principal Christian Horner. “It would have probably been okay, but we got permission from the FIA to do a precautionary change going into going into the race. So it well spotted by the mechanic.”

Asked what may have caused the damage Horner said: “I think the viciousness of the bumps around here are pretty aggressive.”

Track workers ground down some of the bumps at the circuit during the race weekend. The circuit owners are planning extensive repair works covering more than two kilometres of the 5.513km circuit during the off-season.

Asked if he expects the bumps will be less severe at next year’s grand prix, FIA race director Michael Masi said: “I would hope so.

“The circuit’s advised us that there’s a significant amount of resurfacing as well as rectification works that need to go on. The bumps have got more severe in recent times with extremes of weather they’ve had here.

“To their credit, they undertook a lot of rectification work that could be done without compromising the track surface as much as possible. So that was all done and continued to be done over the weekend.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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12 comments on “Red Bull suspect bumps caused crack in Verstappen’s wing”

  1. I’d not go as far as say “good!” but I did smile at the thought of thousand of engineers in complete shock after finding their vastly developed simulations didn’t include these bumps. Not knowing exactly what conditions they are going to.run weekend in weekend out is great.

    If such thing was more common, and tracks didn’t resurface their tracks year after year (like Silverstone did recently), maybe they’d make cars that can cope with the bumps instead. Not saying that’s ideal, but it’s became such a laboratory exercise even the slightest of variations disrupt teams preparation massively.

  2. The problem for the track is the soil, the roads are TX have dips & bumps from the soil which reacts to dry spells and wet spells. This year Austin had 6 months of above average rain followed by 3 months of little rain and nearly 100f every day and couple of weeks before the race weekend the rains return.

    Given enough time, a smooth track will always be a challenge in TX due to the soil.

    1. Thats why you dont build on soil.

      1. Tracks these days.. back in my day, they built tracks into the mantle! With their bare hands!!

        1. Are yes, when you started the engine with a crank handle (after making sure the gearbox was in neutral) … oh, and don’t forget to hold the handle with your thumb next to your fingers so your thumb won’t be dislocated if it back fires.

  3. Clearly these bumps developed a lot in the last year, but I cannot help but to think that the main reason for the front wing to crack is the team developing the car to the limit. Sure some track are bumpier than other and there is a limit to what is acceptable. But the teams choose how much risk they take with the solidity of the car… It’s a performance VS risk decision… Up to them, but it’s easier to blame the track, it seems.

  4. Cars have suspension for a reason… use it!

    1. If it was allowed to be active sure.

  5. This is typical redbull racing. Even if it had nothing to do with the bumps at COTA, they were gonna blame it on the bumps regardless. That’s how redbull rolls, like an annoying spouse, never letting the other forget a single mistake.

    I’m surprised they aren’t asking the fia to pay for it…

  6. Watching the official YouTube video of top 10 onboards it’s clear that the bumps are huge https://youtu.be/21b565y1bxI especially visible from Grosjean’s point of view at turn 2, starting from 2:33, the Alfa Romeo in front bounces up and down on the tarmac

  7. Red Bull gives you broken wings?

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