Verstappen’s car was damaged by debris from AlphaTauri drivers’ collision

2022 British Grand Prix

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The damage which cost Max Verstappen a potential victory in the British Grand Prix was caused by debris from a collision between the drivers of Red Bull’s junior team.

Yuki Tsunoda and Pierre Gasly collided, leaving debris on the circuit which Verstappen hit shortly afterwards. He initially thought he’d picked up a puncture and came into the pits.

“There was no puncture,” Red Bull team principal Christian Horner explained. “It was so bad, it felt like a puncture.

“Basically on lap 11 he hit a piece of debris which was an AlphaTauri part, from the incident that they had. So he’s then done the race with a modified floor, with a piece of an AlphaTauri endplate stuck under the bottom of the car.”

The damage caused “a massive loss of downforce” on Verstappen’s car, said Horner. “Then of course you rely on looking at trying to identify what’s causing it. And of course, because it was underneath there was nothing obvious – it wasn’t like half the floor was hanging off.

“So it was difficult to actually understand it initially, which was why Max reported a puncture, but it was actually a major update that had gone on.”

Verstappen’s race was “going fine” until he picked up the damage, said Horner. “You could see that he was quicker than certainly Carlos and he was just not wanting to take too much out of the tyre too early and worked his way up to the back of him, made the pass.

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“Then unfortunately literally one lap later he hit the debris. So then he reported a puncture, but we couldn’t see it on the data, but then [you’ve] got to trust the driver, obviously.

“So we pitted precautionarily and then we saw that there were some debris. In fact, Carlos Sainz, I think, said when he was following bits were coming out from the bottom of Max’s car.”

Horner praised Verstappen’s effort at the end of the race to salvage seventh place after he was able to fit a fresh set of tyres during a Safety Car period.

“On the medium tyre, he was obviously fighting as hard as he could, but suddenly your race becomes very focussed on suddenly the cars that you’re racing against, which were more Alpine and Aston at that stage.

“So we then pitted for the hard tyre to get to the end of the race as we felt that was our best way of finishing P7. He struggled I think particularly with the wounded car on the harder compound of tyre even more.

“So when we got to the Safety Car, we’ve got nothing to lose, we’ll either finish out of the points or put a set of softs on to see what we can do and he actually managed to pass a couple of cars and then fought obviously extremely hard to maintain that seventh place which you know was six valuable points.”

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2022 British Grand Prix

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Author information

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...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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12 comments on “Verstappen’s car was damaged by debris from AlphaTauri drivers’ collision”

  1. I assume they’re saying something got stuck in one of the tunnels under the car?

  2. This can happen to any car and any driver. As a Ver fan a little disapointed but I still enjoyed this race. Al three on the podium deserved it. Great show, great performance. Up to the next race.

  3. The AT collision happened later, so the piece must be from Gasly’s car that fell following the opening lap collision.
    An unfortunate circumstance that could’ve happened to anyone, without which he probably would’ve run away to a comfortable win.

    1. Edit: I mixed up the chronological order in which the AT collision & Max’s sudden speed loss occurred.

  4. Bad luck but still 6 points and with Leclerc 4th only 6 points lost in WDC. On pace it was ver or lec to win the race. Lec got screwed with the famous Ferrari strategy and VER got screwed by two stupid teammates of their junior team.

  5. One of the downsides to ground effects is floor damage destroying your race.

    Remember moments from the early 80s where floor or skirt damage led to some big accidents as drivers went into fast corners unaware they had damage which took away most there downforce.

    Think that was what put Tambay in the wall hard at Vegas in 1981 and tore the whole front of his car off.

    I think some cars had pressure gauges in them so drivers knew they had the right suction under the car. Or was that just the Brabham fan car i think actually.

  6. Did max break his flexing floor?

    1. Is the Red Bull’s floor flexing? You have a source?

      1. Was meant as a joke nudge nudge wink wink

  7. A pretty clumsy move by Tsunoda ruined three races today including the main team. You have to wonder how much more time he’ll have to mature before one of the other Red Bull junior drivers get called up?

  8. It is rather telling that this great race, where many overtaking at the front occurred respectfully did not feature Max Verstappen, who reverted back to his usual, low level intelligent shove at Mick S.

    1. Have to agree there. The guy has no idea how to race fairly.

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