Cause of Max Verstappen ERS issue confirmed with ‘rest of year’ concerns addressed

Michelle Foster
Red Bull mechanics working on Max Verstappen's RB20

Do Red Bull have a fundamental problem with the car?

As his FP2 running went up in smoke due to an ERS fault, Helmut Marko has allayed Max Verstappen’s “rest of the year” concerns as the Dutchman was running an “old” power unit.

Verstappen covered just four laps in Friday’s second practice at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve before heading back into the Red Bull garage with a smoking RB20.

Helmut Marko: This is not a new engine, but an old one

The team confirmed his running had been cut short by an “ERS fault” before Verstappen told the media: “There was a suspected electrical issue so they told me to box and they’re investigating now.

“It’s not ideal. I would have liked to drive more laps. Some other people had a few more laps in the dry, a few more laps now in the wet.

“It’s definitely not how I would have liked to get on in FP2, but I think it’s more important to just figure out what actually happened, and what kind of implications that will have for this weekend or the rest of the year.”

But while Red Bull don’t yet know the exact cause of the failure, Marko told Motorsport.com he does not expect any major consequences towards Verstappen’s season as he was running an old engine.

“It’s a problem with the engine,” said the motorsport advisor. “We now have to take the engine out of the car to find the exact cause, but it is certainly on the electrical side of the engine.

“This is not a new engine, but an old one.”

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Verstappen’s FP2 troubles meant the Dutchman sat out the session that had the better of the conditions after FP1’s near wash-out.

“It is indeed annoying because the first session was largely wet and did not yield any conclusions. Let’s hope that the last practice is dry to find a good setting,” said Marko.

“If we get at least one dry practice, then it is still necessary not to be so painful.

“In any case, we still have information from Checo. I am confident that we will find a solution.”

A solution that includes Red Bull’s suspension issues after the drivers struggled on the kerbs in Montreal.

Although Verstappen has said it will take “time” to find a permanent solution, Marko believes things will be better in Canada.

“We found some problems after Monaco and hope that we can now take steps with a new set-up for this race weekend. When Max was on track, he recorded purple sector times in sector 2, so it looks like looks promising,” he said.

“I don’t necessarily think it’s in the DNA of our car. It’s more a combination of factors. At the moment it certainly looks better than in Monte Carlo.

“We have had that correlation problem for a while now, especially on street circuits. The engineers are currently also working on that, although you cannot solve something like that within a week.”

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