Adrian Newey and Paul Monaghan went “full Meccano” as they used gaffer tape for a quick fix to Max Verstappen’s floor in Friday’s first practice for the French Grand Prix.
Verstappen damaged the right side of his RB18’s floor on the kerbs as he got it wrong at Turn 11, the Dutchman still managing to set his fastest lap time of the session.
He headed back to the pits after the mistake, blaming it on understeer, where the team’s technical guru Newey led the charge to repair the floor.
“A bit of running repairs, you know, old school,” team boss Christian Horner explained to Sky Sports.
“You can’t beat a bit of gaffer tape, and aerodynamics go out of the window a little bit at that point.
“Him (Newey) and Pedals (Monaghan) getting full Meccano.
“It was a bit of damage just on one of the kerbs, so it was all sorted out.”
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Ferrari finished Friday’s running as the team to beat, Carlos Sainz a tenth up on his team-mate Charles Leclerc while Verstappen was half a second off the pace.
His team-mate Sergio Perez suffered even more, the Mexican driver 1.5s down on the leading Ferrari.
Horner was not too worried.
“We know they (Ferrari) have had a quick car all year and we can see they are competitive again this weekend,” said the Briton.
“There was only one lap where it looks like maybe they have gone up on engine mode [on] the first lap on the tyres.
“We looked competitive on the mediums and the softs, and the long run looked reasonably okay as well.
“It was only a five-lap long run but on the whole, a lot of information to take away from the session.”
He added: “If you look at the last little run over the five, six-lap period, I take real comfort in that I think we are closer.
“It’s been so tight between the two teams in the first 11 races. I’ve no reason to believe it will be really that much different here.
“It will be tyre deg, strategy…qualifying isn’t quite the premium of other circuits here because you can overtake, so you’ve got to be on the first couple of rows.”