Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Hungaroring, 2020

Verstappen thought his race was over after crashing before start

2020 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen said he didn’t expect to be able to start the Hungarian Grand Prix after he crashed while driving to the grid.

The Red Bull driver broke his front wing and suspension after skidding into a barrier at turn 12. He drove his damaged car to the grid, where the team successfully repaired it before the race began. Verstappen went on to finish the race in second position.

“It was not how I wanted it in the beginning, of course, ending up in the barriers [on] the laps to the grid,” he admitted.

“The mechanics did an amazing job to fix the car. I don’t know how they did it but incredible. So to pay them back with second place, I’m very pleased for that.”

A rapid start by Verstappen moved him up to third place by the end of lap one.

“The first lap was very crucial,” he said, “and from there on we had the right calls and we had good pace so we just kept doing our own thing. And of course to be able to split the two Mercedes cars is good for us.”

He said the repaired suspension felt “like new” from the start. “It was just in time but everything was working like normal.”

Verstappen came under attack from Valtteri Bottas at the end of the race, but held on to finish second.

“I was just trying to do my own pace. Of course I could see he was catching like a second a lap.

“But of course following here is quite tricky so as soon as he was within one-and-a-half seconds it was a bit more difficult for him. Then in the last lap we had also traffic in front which didn’t make it easier for me on those old tyres but we managed to hang on and very happy with second.

“I thought I was not going to race so to be second is like a victory today.”

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Keith Collantine
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23 comments on “Verstappen thought his race was over after crashing before start”

  1. I’m so pleased Max was able to repay the team (specifically his engineers) with that result and race performance.
    Yes, the mistake is pretty much inexcusable, but its how you respond to a setback that is important. End of the day, its what happens in the race that gets you points.
    A 2nd place shouldn’t have been available to Red Bull today given their Friday and Saturday performance and Mercedes dominance, so great result.

    1. Good job to RB mechanics, great work.

  2. Thanks to Verstappen, the race was exciting enough around the end.

    1. Surely you mean thanks to Bottas for fluffing the start. Once into the race, Max was not able to challenge anyone. The excitement came from Bottas charging on fresh tyres.

      1. As a Max fan the excitement came from his great start and positioning to get to where he needed to go right from the getgo. And then for me the excitement was all race long to see where Max would end up, and it turns out he challenged everyone behind him from third back to do better and they couldn’t. A second place that felt like a win for them for sure. Well done.

        1. One could argue that the excitement came from Max crashing before the race… ;)

  3. Red Bull mechanics should get extra bonuses and an exotic holiday on top of that.

    1. @pironitheprovocateur Only fair that any performance bonus Max gets for the result is diverted to his mechanics by management. I was amazed that it was all fixed and that the chief mechanic had ok’ed it since if it wasn’t done probably and something happened RBR would have been in very serious trouble (ie race bans or worse)!!

    2. They get to go to Northamptonshire!!

  4. Crashing on the way to the grid is something I would expect from Grosjaen- not Max. This is what his critics (me included) always say- rough diamond and now in his 7th season. Still, credit to him for the excellent drive and making up for the noob error and even more credit to the mechanics for getting the car fixed.

    1. ForzaAlonsoF1
      19th July 2020, 18:13

      7th season Blazzz?

      1. 6th season, my maths let me down there.

    2. I chuckled when it happened but really, it is his job on the recon lap. All drivers are supposed to figure out where the grip is. That one wet race in Brazil he looked to be the only one properly testing the grip and it resulted in a great drive. Taking risks will blow up in your face every now and then. Well, it did now. The team saved him. Great job. Good tv as well

      1. That sums it up quite nicely. Verstappen is notorious for taking risks. With that approach sometimes you are a hero, sometimes you are a zero.

    3. 6th season I think.

    4. People easily forget other drivers make odd mistakes every now and then as well….
      How about Lewis Hamilton Q1 crash at Brasil 2017…. in his tenth season… Vettel has a few, Ricciardo had a few, they all had a few

      1. And were roundly criticised for said mistakes. Max is not immune. His good drives come from errors he made…Brazil 16 being a perfect example

        1. That is incorrect. Verstappen lost all those places for a pit stop strategy that backfired. He didn’t lose a single position with his slip that day.

  5. It was great to see Verstappen make the race it did make for a spectacle with Bottas chasing after his bad start. The mechanics done an amazing job fixing the car to a level where it’s performance and handling seemed to be as good as before the incident.

  6. I think this was a perfect demonstration that F1 isn’t just for the best drivers in the world.
    These are the best mechanics, engineers, strategists, etc. This is the truest example of a team sport there is. Sure, the drivers get most of the spotlight, but without the hundreds of team members behind them they would not be able to go racing.

    The best performance of Sunday did not happen during the race, it happened on the P7 grid slot 10 minutes before the start.

  7. Since changing suspension on grid allowed then in future if teams discover problems with sensors, gearbox, etc they should also be allowed to be changed to equivalent parts on grid before race start without penalty.

    1. marcel171281
      20th July 2020, 7:43

      That has always been allowed for anyone. As long as they use the same specs for what is being replaced. But, normally no one does it on the grid, because of the time available. Gearbox has different rules.

    2. Only people who have accident damage are allowed to change items on the grid, as it is part of parc fermé. It’s just that teams with the option prefer to repair accident damage in the more civilised timings offered by post-qualifying parc fermé, rather than try to do 90 minutes’ work in 20.

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