Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Hungaroring, 2020

Verstappen was 25 seconds away from not starting the race

2020 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Red Bull completed pre-race repairs to Max Verstappen’s car less than half a minute before they had to clear the grid to start the race.

Team principal Christian Horner praised his team’s repair job after Verstappen crashed his Red Bull at turn 12 on the reconnaissance lap prior to the start of the race, and said his driver was fortunate to be able to start the race at all.

“I think Max went off three times on that lap to the grid and the third one was obviously looked pretty terminal,” said Horner. “So we could immediately see it looked like the track rod and certainly the push-rod was broken.

“The big question was had it done the wishbone as well. If it had done the wishbone, that would have been game over.”

“So we decided to drive the car to the grid and do our best to repair the car on the grid. And the mechanics did an unbelievable job. What would usually take an hour and a half they did in 20 minutes and completed with 25 seconds to go.”

Remarkably, Verstappen reported no problems with his suspension throughout the race.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Hungaroring, 2020
Red Bull did a 90-minute repair job in 20
“It’s not going to be ideal but you’ve got to get on with it and Max actually didn’t report any issues at all with the car pulling to one side or anything like that in the race, which was very good.”

In his repaired car, Verstappen took second place in the race.

“Max put it out of his mind,” said Horner. “He was obviously a bit embarrassed on the grid having caused that amount of work. But he repaid them in the best possible way by putting in the drive that he did.

“And the guys came back, got themselves composed, and then did a sub-two-second pit stop again. So, you know, they’ve been phenomenal this weekend and he owes this result.”

FIA race director Michael Masi said the team’s repair work on the grid was supervised. “We obviously had a couple of our technical team down there monitoring it all,” he said. “With regards to time frames and the manner in which everything was achieved, it was all completely compliant.”

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19 comments on “Verstappen was 25 seconds away from not starting the race”

  1. Brilliant job by the team. Operationally, Red Bull is up there with Mercedes.

  2. And all credit to the mechanics for getting it done in time, and credit to Verstappen for not backing off in a car that had just had it’s front suspension rebuilt and probably hadn’t undergone the sort of tests and checks that would normally be involved with such a job.

  3. Well they done a great job the RB is not at the level of the Mercs but the mechanics put it back together and Verstappen was able to get a few fasted laps and stay infront of Bottas long enough to keep 2nd.

  4. 25s is “clutch”. still I don’t think we can discard any wrongdoing. The fia could set a penalty for this type of repair work. Something small like 5 or 10 s just to dispel any doubts, no would crash on purpose if there was a penalty for it.

    1. While when there are no penalties given, drivers really do prefer crashing you mean…?

    2. @peartree Crash on purpose? Yes, that happened once in the distant past, but this was far from being like that, LOL.

      1. This idea that Verstappen crashed on purpose is rediculous.

        Considering the conditions, there’s no way that they could have predicted that the car would only suffer the damage it did. A little more speed, a different angle, the car spinning and hitting the wall on the rear axle and his race would be done before it starts.

        There’s also no guarentee that they would have gotten the car ready in time. The team taking another thirty seconds wouldn’t have just meant Verstappen missing the formation lap, but potentially the race start and having to start from the pit lane and even then, if the car isn’t ready to leave the pit lane by the time the race does start, he might not have even been allowed to start at all.

        Teams -including Ferrari with Alonso have penalized in the past for still working on a car beyond when they have to clear the grid.

    3. @peartree I don’t believe he crashed on purpose remember he damaged his car during the race. He’s still making unforced mistakes this is just part of his learning.

      1. @johnrkh
        When he becomes a 6 time WDC and still crashes his 2 seconds a lap faster car into his competitors or fails to lap the entire field despite that 2 seconds a lap faster car, we’ll talk about rookie mistakes, but as long as he keeps dragging his car to finishes out of his league, qualifies his frantic car in the wet on the front row or humiliates a Merc driver by finishing in front, we rather talk about racing genius!

        1. Niki, what kind of salt do you use? Himalayas rock salt or sea salt? Please use reduced sodium kinds.

        2. Glad you replied Niki101 the first sentence was meant to say ‘I don’t believe he crashed on purpose remember he damaged his car during the previous race’.

  5. Yes, red bull is impressive in the repairs.

    You can say what you want, they were different problems, but remember 2018? Whenever ferrari gets a problem with cars in qualifying, they work, work, work, time ends, sessions lost, whenever red bull gets one, they fix it in time (ricciardo china).

    Also pit stop wise they’re superior, they’re just a more organized team, it’s just hard to compete with mercedes in performance and reliability for anyone and maybe their 2nd driver could be better, losing ricciardo wasn’t their fault (they didn’t fire him at least), but that’s no excuse for not getting a better replacement from outside the red bull academy.

  6. F1oSaurus (@)
    20th July 2020, 16:37

    “I think Max went off three times on that lap to the grid and the third one was obviously looked pretty terminal,”

    Sorry what? He went off already two times before hitting the wall?

    1. He is the best pilot. Period.

  7. I think all credit should go to Gasly! He did perfect job in training these mechanics. Jokes aside, hats off to RBR mechanics.

  8. If there was a World Championship for Mechanics…

  9. Without a job, the mechanics did a brilliant team in a controlled chaos state, but looking at the video available @, it seems they had more time to spare, not knowing for sure the mandates for hands-off the car prior to the formation lap green light.

    1. Wheels must be on 5 minutes before formation lap. After this they can only be removed in the pit lane

  10. Doesn’t matter what team you root for. The Red Bull mechanics showed that are the best. They are the envy of the field including Mercedes.

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