Verstappen says Red Bull need to review pit stop call which cost him win

2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen says Red Bull need to review the decision to bring him into the pits shortly before a Safety Car period during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Red Bull summoned him in shortly after Nyck de Vries came to a stop at turn six. The Safety Car was summoned after Verstappen pitted, allowing his team mate Sergio Perez to change his tyres with minimal time loss and jump ahead of Verstappen.

Perez went on to win the race ahead of Verstappen, who came second. However he believes his team should have noticed De Vries’ car was damaged and the Safety Car was likely to be needed in order to recover it.

“I saw that there was a car stopped, I thought he maybe just locked up. In hindsight, I mean I can’t see that, but it’s something to review.

“Clearly you could see there was one wheel damaged and it looked like he was not going to drive that anyway back to the pits, even if he would have reversed. So it’s something to look at because, of course, that then did hurt my race after that.”

Verstappen’s lap times had begun to slow shortly before he pitted. However he said his team should not have taken that as a prompt to bring him in.

“I was not entirely happy with the balance, but also in hindsight, I was probably not pushing it enough initially in some corners,” he explained. “But that should never be the indication that if there is a car stopped, to just pit, because you know that if there is a Safety Car, then you lose even more time by than staying out.

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“So there are a few things to look at. But I always know that the team tries to do the best thing and maybe just today we got unlucky.”

Having lost points to Perez in both this weekend’s race, Verstappen said “the weekend in general was a bit messy, but I think that can be expected with this format.”

“The race day, I think the first stint probably I could have been a little bit more aggressive with the way I was using my tyres. I think I was just too careful. That’s why Checo was still quite close to me. And then of course we made the call to pit.”

Although he was unable to catch Perez over the remainder of the race, Verstappen said he gradually became happier with the balance of his car.

“After the the Safety Car I tried to put the pressure on Checo to try and get into that DRS. I think one time I was pretty close to getting it, but it was just still hanging in there really close, trying to really catch up. I probably damaged my tyres a bit too much early on for such a long stint.

“So then at one point I just settled, tried to do a little bit my own thing, to not damage the tyres completely to the end. But it was just very difficult to have a good balance entry to mid-corner and a lot of the lap time here is about entry to mid-corner to get that right. I was just struggling with oversteer and understeer so the whole race I was just trying a lot of things on my steering wheel to try and get a bit of a better feeling, balance in the car.

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“I actually think that I found a good compromise towards the end of the race because I think my last 10 laps were a lot stronger and I felt a lot happier with the car, how everything was behaving. So I think all in all, I can be quite pleased with second.

“Of course you always want to win but I think sometimes you need these kind of weekends to learn and have a better understanding of the car, what the car needs to go faster. And sometimes on a street circuit like this it really comes out. Like sometimes these kind of things might get a bit masked on a normal track because of downforce and just the general behaviour of the car. So maybe this was a good day to go forward.”

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2023 Azerbaijan 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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27 comments on “Verstappen says Red Bull need to review pit stop call which cost him win”

  1. Sure, but it’s hard to make informed decisions when the FIA race director takes a long time to act and is acting in hard-to-predict ways.

    1. Oh come on people, this year never saw ‘Max’ fighting. Remember the botched 2021 season ‘finale’ end ? That was the last time I saw two greats fight, with a ‘very poisonous end’. Now ‘Max’ is in a car that can get 20 seconds ahead in as many laps, without actually as much as stressing the car. (like ‘the car is not feeling good’ – before getting the fastest lap). This season was over before it started. They can take 5 engine penalties and win the DCP easily and they bloody know it. Of course Checo won’t win it. I love to ffw the race on tv , knowing the 1-2 beforehand. In the end ‘Max’ will take his ‘second’ crown. Commedia dell’arte for our poor folks.

  2. They called heads, it was tails. Move on.

    1. This.

  3. I think max has done very well out of safety car calls in the past!

  4. Maxi is getting worried…
    No worries, daddy is going to have a word with Spice boy and next time Sergio will be on a 10 stops strategy…
    Red Bull is the best comedy show in town!

    1. Itsmeagain (@)
      30th April 2023, 17:00

      Seriously? Getting a bit tired of the ‘max’s dad’ excuses. His role is… zero at RB. I’m more Max fan, and it is great checo won today. And if he wins the WDC that’s fine with me.

      1. Well, if you are getting tired maybe it’s time for jos the boss to stop showing up.

        1. ” … for jos the boss to stop showing up.” Recall when the Merc garage was awash with Hamiltonians?

          1. Yes, I didn’t say that it wasn’t hilarious as well.

          2. Difference is the Hamiltons aren’t child abusing, wife beating attempted murderers :)

          3. Whats the relevance of judging someone based on the behavior of a relative? Maybe as a substitute for proper argumentation?

  5. Thats it – wondered who he was going to blame

  6. Well, when they called him into the pits it looked like it was in order to spare him from the embarassment of being overtaken by his teammate on that very lap. Odd call in any case.

  7. mark from toronto
    30th April 2023, 21:16

    wasn’t Max whining about his tires at that point? Max is realizing that Perez is getting stronger each weekend.

    1. Perez has always been strong at Baku. He will be strong at Monaco too.

      And then for the rest of the season Max will dominate.

      1. mark from Toronto
        1st May 2023, 3:35

        He has improved each year with the team, so its not possilble to predict.

  8. Interesting comment by verstappen, the reasoning about seeing a car stopped with a damaged wheel and hence knowing a SC is likely, it makes sense, and tbh nowadays with the super-cautious approach by the fia, it makes sense, if you’re in doubt about a car stopped on track, to assume there will be a SC and only pit when it’s announced, even though, if it’s announced after you got past the pit lane it’s still bad luck and it will give you problems as well.

    You also need to consider if it’s a bad enough crash for a red flag or not cause if there’s a red flag not stopping is better.

  9. To be fair to Red Bull, on the very first shot of De Vries facing the wall, he had the steering turned to the left slightly, so it wasn’t obvious that the front wheels weren’t aligned.

    It wasn’t until a later shot, and the subsequent replays that it was obvious the steering was broken.

    Unsure if RB were monitoring the radio, because if they were they would’ve heard the call that it was broken. Maybe someone with inside knowledge can provide some insight into how much and how the teams monitor each other’s radio chatter.

    1. It was very obvious that his car was totalled on the very first shot of it.

  10. Max is feeling too entitled

  11. Salty comment section.. He said they should review it, he said he’s happy with 2nd and he’s said he doesn’t blame the team

    1. Yeah, I base my opinion on actual footage and comments from the drivers, not the twisted presentation by the media. I have heard Max complimenting Charles and Checo and accepting bad luck with referring Checo has had similar bad luck ib the past. Seems rather balanced to me. For a top athlete to subsequently wanting to know what and if something can be done to prevent it in the future seems perfectly logical and a trade mark of a professional.

      1. I guess I just don’t like where society is heading. Only polarizing opinions make headlines. And subsequently, society polarizes, a trend seen everywhere. But here in a niche corner of the internet where f1 fanatics used to gather and share a passion/hobby, sure there always have been strong opinions left and right. But there used to be room (if not the most room) for nuanced comments. These days it’s almost only red and green*. I learned that almost every time I needed to make a binary decision, if the answer was a very clear yes or no it usually meant I didn’t know enough. The more you know, usually the more difficult the decision. Why are we polarizing. Are people just not interested anymore? Do we stop listening once we made our own decision? Are we getting progressively more dumb?
        And why is this also happening in this niche corner of the internet…
        Questions, questions..

        But I feel the easy option for centered opinions is to not speak out. But that would leave the stage for just red and green to fight, ultimately making it worse. So here is a brown opinion…

        *I’m not sure if we’re still allowed to use the black-white metaphor even though it has nothing to do with race

        1. I am guilty of polarising and could probably be more nuanced as well. With me it is driven by getting annoyed of people who fall into the deliberate media trap and form an opinion based on what they are being fed. And especially for F1 which has deep UK roots and a very one sided UK media circus around it, this becomes almost disruptive and very unjust. Then I for some reason feel a need to bring nuance but sometimes resort to adding to the polarisation. In my view to offer a counter perspective, but the effect is far more limited than what I have in mind and often just feeds more polarisation. So all in all we as brothers in arms are staged up against each other by the media who takes little responsibility and knows that polarisation sells. I long back to the f1fantacis days and will try to up my game.

          1. Fair enough. Thanks for responding and a civilized exchange of thoughts!
            Seems weird to say for what should be common practice, but still..

  12. Getting screwed by the safety car but then overtaking 4 cars including your teammate is just a champion thing. Guess Max ain’t one of those huh?

Comments are closed.