Verstappen grateful for extra run-off at Raidillon after near-crash

2023 Belgian Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen said the recent extension to the run-off at Raidillon came as a relief when he nearly lost control of his Red Bull there during the Belgian Grand Prix.

The barriers were moved back at that section of the circuit last year to improve safety standards at the ultra-fast corner after a series of crashes. Verstappen had to correct a snap of oversteer through the quick corner when rain fell briefly during today’s race.

“The rain was just moving around on the track,” he explained. “Sometimes it was increasing in other places from lap to lap.

“I just got up there and it probably just rained a bit harder when I was on the other side of the track in Eau Rouge, and I got there and it just caught me out. It was a bit more slippery than I thought it would be.

“It happened quickly. Trying to correct it, sometimes of course it works, sometimes it doesn’t. And at that speed as well, you have quite a bit of downforce on the car that helps.

“But it was not great. We did have to save a bit but it’s always a combination of things throughout the race when you’re saving.”

“That’s probably not the best place to go sideways but luckily nothing happened,” he added. “Of course also with the changes through there, you have a little bit more run-off. But it’s still not a nice corner to have a moment.”

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Asked what he was thinking at the time Verstappen replied: “A swear word.”

Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Spa-Francorchamps, 2023
Gallery: 2023 Belgian Grand Prix in pictures
Verstappen won the race having started sixth and passed his rivals ahead, besides his race-leading team mate Sergio Perez, before making his first pit stop. He said the car felt better after switching to the medium tyre compound.

“I could feel that the car was in a much better window and I could go a lot faster,” he said. “So from there onwards, that was really where it started to come alive and really enjoyable to drive once I got in the lead. Also, I could really look after the tyres well.

“But then of course, the rain started to come down so you had to slow down quite a bit in some places. But once that cleared, we went back to a soft tyre set and again the car was well-balanced and it shows that once you are not in traffic how much better you can be on tyres. So, it was a great race.”

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2023 Belgian 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...

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6 comments on “Verstappen grateful for extra run-off at Raidillon after near-crash”

  1. More drivers talked about moments during the rain. Leclerc mentioning his rear breaking out in la source in the cooldown room.
    A pity the director did not showed more of such incidents.

  2. Respectfully, where did he say he was “grateful”? He drove onto the paint and corrected (superb reaction time, but that’s another matter). You note that he used a “swear word” at the time — most people would have said ‘oh heck’ or worse.
    F1 media (whatever they are called on Bell Canada TSN5) showed footage of a smiling little girl who might have looked “grateful” and might have been Mr Verstappen’s daughter. I thought “invasion of privacy”; and sincerely hope that this was not the source of your article.

  3. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
    30th July 2023, 23:33

    He has a lot of these moments – he’s been lucky not to have been punished by them.

    1. “A lot”. Can yoy kist them, from the start of this season?
      Have you considered the he was “not lucky” not to be taken out of any of them, but that it is the quality of Max as a driver to maybe get surprised, but has reflexes so good that he can save himself.

      Remember the rain race in Brazil couple of years ago, how he not hit into the wall when spinning?

      Max doesn’t depend on luck, he is best prepared for all kind of “surprises” thrown at him.

      Is he infallible? Nope. There are moments that even he cannot control the outcome. But those are few and far between.

      1. There is ofcourse a part of luck but skill is what you can save you (Max quote 2016 Brasil) and he wasn’t the only one yesterday…

  4. Carlos Furtado das Neves
    31st July 2023, 0:50

    22 seconds ahead.
    That’s luck!!!

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