Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Interlagos, 2019

Verstappen: Kubica “almost took me out” in pit incident

2019 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen said his car revealed his car nearly went into anti-stall mode when he had to avoid Robert Kubica’s Williams following his first pit stop.

The Red Bull driver lost the lead to Lewis Hamilton following his delay in the pits on lap 21.

“I had the traffic with the Williams car and Lewis of course pitted that lap [before],” said Verstappen. “It was not very nice.

“Actually, I did my pit stop and I came out also Robert came out and he almost took me out, I went into the wall.” Adding that, “I almost caught the anti-stall, it was very close.”

Verstappen came into the pits in front of Kubica but ended up alongside the Williams because his pit stop was so far. “[It was a] good pit stop from the guys as well,” said Verstappen, “I think it was 1.9 seconds, so that was incredible.”

The stewards ruled Williams released Kubica at the correct moment but he got away slowly and drove into Verstappen’s path. He was given a five-second time penalty.

Having rejoined the track behind Hamilton, Verstappen was able to quickly catch and pass the Mercedes driver.

“Luckily for me Lewis got stuck in the middle sector with Charles [Leclerc]. So I pushed up to them and luckily I could get by Charles into turn 12.

“Then I still had the tow and the DRS of Lewis. I was on full power and DRS open and I could get Lewis into turn one.”

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Josh Holland
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23 comments on “Verstappen: Kubica “almost took me out” in pit incident”

  1. Tin foil mode:Almost the second time a merc powered car ruined his race.

    But a really commanding win with lots of moments he had to fight and won.
    The double overtake, lec and ham was epic.
    Let’s hope this rbr form continues for next season

  2. The RedBull crew were very good, they keep pumping out these under 2 sec pitstops like it’s nothing. A slower pitstop and the race could have gone away from them quickly. Lewis in free air could have been deadly.

    1. I agree

    2. Yeah, I feel VER’s drive was good but overrated. He has the team to thank for the win.

      Obviously, the team made his car and engine but especially the sub 2’s pitstops gave him the edge over HAM and thus the race win.

  3. Antistall mode simply means that his car was going to accelerate to keep the revs high enough so the engine doesn’t stall. Other times the antistall just opens the clutch when the speed is too low. Depends how it is programmed. To avoid antistall kicking in verstappen would have needed to use the clutch because chances are his car was going fast enough so that compuer would have likely preferred adding throttle instead of opening the clutch. Antistall caused an accident some years ago when the driver (maria de villota) was slowing down to a stop but the rpms dropped too low so the antistall kicked in and added some throttle which resulted in sudden acceleration. So had the antistall kicked in I’d imagine it would have caused verstappen to rear end kubica.

    In the end I still think kubica is totally blameless. He was released by the williams crew and he could not see verstappen. Even in normal car verstappen would have been in your blind spot. In f1 half of your surroundings is a blind spot. (add some words about masi not doing a good job..)

    1. add some words about masi not doing a good job

      The stewards decided that the call from the pitwall was made in time, but the get-away from Kubica was too slow. He didn’t leave the pits fast enough, hence the penalty, so I wouldn’t say he is totally blameless.

    2. @socksolid, in the case of de Villota, the official HSE report suggested it wasn’t the anti-stall that was the problem, but a combination of the engine idle control settings, unplanned changes by the mechanics and a badly positioned clutch. The anti-stall system didn’t actually kick in during that accident until the moment that de Villota actually struck the truck, and only because that brought her to a complete halt.

      What seems to have happened was that, as de Villota tried to slow the car down to pull into the pits, the engine idle control, which was designed to stop the revs dropping too low to avoid engine damage, kept trying to increase the engine revs – that is a separate system to the anti-stall system, which is designed to disengage the clutch. In the case of de Villota, the anti-stall effectively couldn’t operate because the engine idle control setting was set to a higher threshold, so the car would always start raising the revs before the anti-stall kicked in.

      In this case, you’re mixing two different things – anti-stall, which disengages the clutch, and the engine idle control, which alters the minimum revs the engine runs at. If he was going into the anti-stall mode, that shouldn’t have been increasing the revs and accelerating the car, as that is what the engine idle control system does – instead, it should have been disengaging the clutch.

      1. Fair enough. I remembered it wrong.

  4. In all honesty it was a bit shameless by Williams. I can understand the crew wants to deliver a kickass pitstop, but to throw your non competition out in front of a race leader and potentially influence the end result, its a bit shameless.

    1. Williams almost performed an Ocon.

    2. @sadf1fan ok, but would you want to see f1 doing the opposite? Holding Kubica back in the pits until the race leader had safely passed by?
      Would you be ok with this if it was Norris being told to hang back until Lewis exited the pits? Would you want to listen to all the Lewis haters after this?

      Obviously he was a little too close to an unsafe release, but we really do need to be careful how we ask the fia to rule the sport.

      So few people think things thru before suggesting how the fia does its job… it really is sad.

  5. So I’m curious. All these times when Williams have had the fastest pit stop, how often has Kubica been slow enough away to not actually benefit, or was this a one off?

    1. I think that doesn’t matter. When the light turns green and the car is dropped, that’s when they ‘clock´ regardless of the car getting out or not. I’m not 100% on this though and could be wrong.

  6. Maybe slightly off topic, but do Williams have to decide if they want to stay a cosy family concern or instead be a successful racing team? Does not look like they can be both.

  7. Is he suffering from Amnesia? Has he forgotten Monaco GP from few months back?

    1. Errors don’t count when Verstappen makes them. He owns that bit of race track you’re on in his head so he’s entitled to push you off track or into a wall.

      1. All I’m reading is Max describing what happened yesterday. What’s that got to do with Monaco? Sure if he was trying to claim he’s never been released close to another car, nor had an incident in the pits, that would be different. And in Monaco wasn’t it RBR or Max that was penalized, just as Kubica was? So, consistency by the stewards then.

        1. Max got 5 sec penalty and 2 points for causing a collision(had to look up the penalty points) and team was fined. So yes in this case consitent stewarding as Kubica also has same penalties not sure of williams situation though.

          What I found funny was Max bringing this incident up when he himself has done similar shoving to his on track rival(in Brazil pit wall was quite far else it would have been karma with Max getting damage to his car).

          1. Chaitanya, fair comment but I wouldn’t expect drivers to stay mum based on them having been there done that too. If that was the case we’d never hear a peep from any driver ever. They’ve all been there done that too at some point (meaning all kinds of incidents not just pit lane ones), but of course have an obligation to the media and the fans to speak on the latest race and it’s circumstances, and perhaps to even compare it to other incidents either they or others have been involved in. It remains a fact that Williams/RK almost cost Max the race win and of course he was going to be asked about it but was likely going to comment on it even without being asked.

  8. Karma, …

    That’s obviously not the full quote but we are not using memes here now are we

  9. It seems weird to me that the anti-stall is not considered to be a driver aid.

    Woudn’t it be better if they ban it?

  10. I thought Williams got off lightly for this – could so easily have been much worse, potentially blocking the pit exit & taking out the race leader.

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