Schumacher had more downforce than Verstappen after crash – Horner

2021 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner praised Max Verstappen’s drive to salvage a point with a heavily damaged car in yesterday’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

Verstappen suffered heavy damage to the right-hand side of his car after Valtteri Bottas knocked Lando Norris into him at the start of the race. He was able to finish the race in 10th, claiming the final point.

The damage seriously affected the handling of the RB16B, said Verstappen.

“Valtteri just completely missed his braking point and caused a big crash,” he explained. “So from there onwards I just had no right-hand side of the car anymore. It was all gone.

“So the car was just extremely difficult to drive. Of course I gave it all I had and at least we could take one point, it’s better than nothing.”

Verstappen has lost his lead in the title fight to Lewis Hamilton after taking just four points from the last two rounds. He crashed out of the previous race at Silverstone following contact with his championship rival.

Mick Schumacher, Haas, Hungaroring, 2021
Schumacher put up a fight against Verstappen
“The last two races haven’t gone our way and it was of course, not our fault,” said the Red Bull driver. “But we just need to keep being focussed, try to forget about it and just look ahead and try to improve.”

Verstappen fought hard with Mick Schumacher of tail-enders Haas on his way to 10th. Horner suspected Schumacher’s undamaged car was in better shape than his driver’s.

“I should think Mick Schumacher had more downforce that Max today,” said Horner. “He drove his heart out.

“He earned one point. That point could be crucial at the end of the year.”

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Verstappen’s drive and the team’s performance in the pits helped Red Bull limit the points loss to Mercedes, said Horner.

“The mechanics lowered the pit stop time for this year as well, certainly on all our watches. So we keep fighting.

“Thankfully, Mercedes made a howler strategically today. Fernando Alonso looked like he was driving for Red Bull as well. And damage was limited to compared to what it could have been.”

Red Bull, Hungaroring, 2021
Red Bull’s intricate aerodynamics were destroyed in the first-lap crash

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34 comments on “Schumacher had more downforce than Verstappen after crash – Horner”

  1. Did he really have less DF than a Haas?
    BTW, Horner acknowledged Alonso’s contribution in limiting Hamilton’s total points gain, but not Gasly’s, who took the bonus point away from him.

    1. @jerejj Wasn’t it obvious from the way Max was held up and handcuffed from getting by anyone in any kind of expedient manner as we have come to expect from him in a healthy car?

      1. @robbie Yes, but given how much better a 100% healthy Red Bull is over Haas, I’m slightly skeptical a somewhat damaged Red Bull would’ve lost enough DF to end up below a healthy Haas’ DF level.

        1. It’s a good question, I’m not sure, after all verstappen came back at raikkonen who has a car that is a little better than a haas and passed him quickly enough that the broadcast even missed the overtake, they had to show a replay, maybe the downforce was similar to those backmarker cars, there’s also a driver element ofc.

          1. While faster to overtake you need some overspeed which he didn’t had so couldn’t get close enough untill Mick made a little mistake and was overtaken by Max due that mistake.

        2. @jerejj Perhaps CH was being facetious or perhaps he was being literal and the missing side of his car meant with such disrupted aero he couldn’t get his tires to work and he was greatly imbalanced etc etc. Then there’s the fact that even healthy cars were having a hard time following cars yesterday as per LH’s complaints. I don’t think we need to take CH to court over his allegation that Max had less downforce than a Haas. As I say he might have even been facetious but I think we take his point no? Max didn’t suddenly forget how to pass a Haas. There’s likely something to what CH is saying. He would likely know the effects of the missing bits from his car, for they are on there and designed as they are for a reason that they can quantify.

        3. Downforce is a function of the differential pressure between the upper and lower floor surfaces. Ever since skirts were banned in the 80’s designers have been using vortices to form an invisible barrier to replace the skirt effect. Todays cars have very intricate vortex generators at the leading edges of the floor, those were wiped away by the McLaren nose. Hence the car would have had poor downforce and what it had would have been LHS biased. Probably a pig to drive.

      2. As others have pointed out, how does anyone know what the performance of either car is?

        I doubt Horner has any performance data from Haas – if he did have detailed technical data, then that would raise a lot of questions – and I expect Red Bull may only be able to guess at the performance of Max’s car from estimated suspension loads.

        It makes for a dramatic soundbite, but I think the claim is unprovable and Horner wouldn’t be able to back his claim up if challenged to prove it.

    2. I doubt it in terms of overall level, but the “profile” of the downforce lost would’ve probably made it worse. A random chunk of floor downforce missing would be harder to deal with than an undamaged but light on downforce car.

    3. Well he seemed to have no problem gaping a car once he overtook it. So aero or not he had a better car than the ones he overtook.
      Good solid drive though.

    4. Gasly’s strategy didn’t work, they pitted him after Ham passed tsunoda in order to undercut Lewis but it failed, it would’ve been far better to have Gasly block Lewis.

  2. Alonso looked like he was driving for RedBull? I don’t get it.

    1. @dmw holding up Hamilton for so long, stopping him getting the win.

    2. @dmw You don’t get him trying to lessen the amount of time/laps LH had, as well as lessen LH’s tire condition, in order to protect the win for Ocon and Alpine?

    3. He was fighting for position as well

    4. I think he offered an interview

  3. Davethechicken
    2nd August 2021, 16:37

    If what Horner says is true, I do wonder how Max was able to follow so closely and then overtake pulling out a big lead over SCH. Was Mick really that bad? Did Max defy the known laws of physics again? Did the Red bulls give him wings?

    1. Probably a slight exageration from horner, in any case haas is the worst car, so not so surprising he pulled away.

  4. Horner again talking nonesense. What does he know about about Haas’ level of downforce? 1s faster healthy cars struggled to overtake and yet Max is superhero who took a much slower car and overtook faster cars in hungary. Yeah riiight.

    1. Definitely he faced a much harder battle than hamilton when trying to gain positions, hamilton could catch up easily to the cars in front, verstappen caught up much slower and hence overtaking was harder.

    2. he’s probably exagerrating as usual, as the interviews need a bit of spicing up and Horner loves to give bombastic statements. But the car was certainly not up there with the best, probably a dog to drive given the massive difference between the left and right bargeboards. The balance shift between left and right corners was certainly horrible to drive, especially in dirty air.

  5. If a car has a front wing and a rear wing fully attached and still the missing fiddly black bits that no fan does recognise cause so much disruption I am very thankful that we simplify the design next year.

  6. Curious why he would still be slower on a straight though, surely less downforce would increase straight line speed.

    1. Not necessarily.
      Bits removed affected downforce, but they had rough edges/not fitting the aerodynamics of the car/… which can still give quite a lot of extra drag so lower top speed.

    2. @emu55 Less downforce doesn’t automatically mean higher straight-line speed. Drag is the contributor besides power.

  7. Christian’s just looking after his driver and publicly backing his 10th place as the best he could’ve hoped for. Did MSC have more downforce? Possibly, but there’s much than outright downforce inbetween a Haas and a RB.

    Thought it was refreshing to see unfamiliar faces battling eachother in the race, fingers crossed the regs changes allow for much more of that next year.

  8. This is taking away from what was quite a fine defensive drive by Mick, especially since he’s not had may opportunities to go wheel to wheel this year. I guess it’s possible that Max had a more unbalanced car because of the damage, but less total downforce? I’m pretty sure that’s untrue since he pulled away at 1.5 seconds a lap after passing Schumacher.

    1. Mick defended against Russel too for 10-15 laps, and held off Giovinazzi in the closing stages.
      It was still one hell of a race with that car he has.

  9. My new hero.

  10. Anthony Marte
    2nd August 2021, 18:34

    That headline made me feel like we were back in 1999

  11. Hard to say about the amount of downforce but a totally unbalanced car that is missing a substantial part of its aero.
    Its a miracle he made it in the top 10.
    It took him some laps to find out the limits of the car and after that he made some nice progress.

    1. Hardly a miracle with a lot of the cars out and an aerodynamic beast under him. He could of gone higher had Red Bull made a better judgment call with bringing him in earlier

      1. an aerodynamic beast

        you mean half of an aerodynamic beast.
        A car so badly damaged is extremely hard to drive.
        Look at Hamilton who lost half a second according to toto when a very small wingtip was missing. Max lost the delta part of the floor, a damaged rear floor and all the barge boards on one side. Plus a hole in the side pot (repaired with some duct tape).
        A miracle indeedoding probably worth 4 seconds of aero and a completely unbalanced car.

  12. Great stuff from Mick Schumacher. Raced hard but clean and didn’t get the jitters even against championship leaders. No ego issues either it seems. I’m beginning to like this kid. Hope he gets the Alfa Romeo drive next year. Shame his father is not there to coach him.

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