Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Hungaroring, 2022

Power unit fault “painful” for Verstappen after car’s pace surprises

2022 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen said the power unit problem which thwarted his final run in qualifying was “painful” after the team proved quicker than expected.

The Red Bull driver yesterday played down his chances of being able to compete for pole position against Ferrari in a dry session. However he admitted he was “positively surprised” by his car’s pace in qualifying.

“All the guys and girls here and also back at the factory, we analysed a lot last night because we were not happy at all,” said Verstappen in response to a question from RaceFans after qualifying

“We made some really positive changes, the car was a lot better to drive for me. We looked very competitive.

“In Q2 all the laps, even on a used tyre set, we were always there, very quick, so I was looking forward to Q3. The first lap didn’t go to plan but then I knew the pace in the car is there but unfortunately we couldn’t show it.”

Verstappen admitted he made a mistake at the beginning of his first timed run in Q3. “I just locked up into turn two,” he said. “Just no front-end grip.

“Maybe the out-lap was a bit slow. Normally the second run it’s fine, you have another shot at it, but unfortunately [we] couldn’t do that lap.”

He realised soon after leaving the pits at the end of the session that something was wrong with his power unit. “I just had no power in that final run exiting the pit lane,” he said.

“We tried to fix it but just no release. The engine was running but there was no release and that’s, of course, painful.”

Verstappen will start tomorrow’s race from 10th on the grid. He doesn’t believe it is worth taking a tactical power unit penalty from that position.

“I think you can still have a result. It’s hard to pass around here but anything can happen. Starting P10, I don’t think it’s worth taking a penalty.”

Verstappen’s Q3 radio messages

VerstappenNo power.
LambiaseOkay Max, stand by.
LambiaseFail 2-1, Fail 21, please.
VerstappenNo power.
LambiaseOkay, stand by.
LambiaseFail 7-7, fail 77 fail.
VerstappenNothing works.
LambiaseFail alpha-eight, A8, if you can.
VerstappenNo, for fuck’s sake! Fuck!
LambiaseOkay Hamilton coming through behind.
LambiaseThe next one is Russell at six seconds.
Verstappen[unclear] said you’d fixed this issue.
VerstappenNo information? Nothing?
LambiaseIt’s not a place to give you details on the radio, Max. I’m sure you understand that. We tried to resolve it on the track, it wasn’t successful.
VerstappenIt’s not even going in neutral. What should I do?
Lambiase[unclear] kill the engine.

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2022 Hungarian 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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11 comments on “Power unit fault “painful” for Verstappen after car’s pace surprises”

  1. “Maybe the out-lap was a bit slow. Normally the second run it’s fine, you have another shot at it, but unfortunately [we] couldn’t do that lap.”

    At this point, I am still surprised drivers rely on their second lap in Q3. They know very well that a yellow flag or red flag instantly ruins that. If anything the first laps of qualifying I’d say could be the most important laps of the weekend. They are at similar importance to race outlaps and inlaps.

    1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      30th July 2022, 17:36

      On this occasion there was track evolution but it is not always the case. Plenty of times first run times are not bettered. There was no guarantee times would be bettered.

      MB and I think 4 other cars only had one set of new tyres so as you say it makes every sense to do the business in the first run, although he did make a mistake this time round.

    2. Ves wasn’t relying on it per se. He messed up his first run so needed to get his 2nd run in.

      Am intrigued by what he thought they had fixed though.

      1. I think he was referring more to the issues they had at the start of the season @asanator than anything more recent

  2. It happens, no one is infallible. Tomorrow will be interesting.

  3. GP2 mode?

  4. BLS (@brightlampshade)
    30th July 2022, 20:17

    In some ways he’s fortunate it happened today rather than tomorrow. Not an ideal track to mess up quali but way better than a dnf

    1. @brightlampshade Lets not take out that furtune ahead of time, things can still happen tomorrow. Todays misfortune doesn’t elimitate tomorrows.

      1. Yes, if you get taken out by someone in the midpack at start or get a puncture cause of that, you can still blame the quali issue.

      2. BLS (@brightlampshade)
        31st July 2022, 10:58

        True, but had his issue happened in todays race then that’s a guaranteed dnf. As it stands he should still be good for 4th, which is all he needs against the mess that is Leclerc & Ferrari.

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