Max explains gear and steering wheel problems

Henry Valantine
Max Verstappen takes off his helmet. Turkey October 2021.

Max Verstappen has his head bowed after the race. Turkey October 2021.

Max Verstappen played down issues he had during the race on Sunday, when he complained about his steering wheel malfunctioning.

The Red Bull driver was heard on team radio saying that his steering wheel’s alignment was off, by becoming more “left hand down” when driving in a straight line – leading him to need to compensate by steering more to the right to stay true to the course.

As a result, the Dutchman said he was driving on an “uneven platform” in the race, but explained what happened after the chequered flag dropped.

“No. It was not the gear shift,” Verstappen told reporters after the race when asked if his problems held him back.

“There was a word next to the number where I can see the gears which was not disappearing, so I had to change one rotary and it was fine. So it was not performance limited.

“The steering was a bit left-hand-down, but also of course the tyres are wearing so you get a bit of an uneven platform but I could feel this already from the start.

“But, again, this is not performance limiting – but it’s better to say it than say nothing.”

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Overall, though, Verstappen retook the lead of the World Championship with a controlled drive to take P2 behind Valtteri Bottas on Sunday, although he admitted afterwards that Red Bull need to find more speed from their car, as he struggled to keep up with the Mercedes drivers throughout the weekend.

Despite that, he felt another podium and a six-point lead in the standings was a solid afternoon’s work at Istanbul Park.

“Considering our whole weekend being a bit off the pace compared to Mercedes I think we had quite a decent race,” he said.

“I mean in the beginning I just tried to follow Valtteri but of course we had to manage the tyres so I just dropped back a bit and at one point we started to pick-up the pace a little bit, also because the track was drying a bit.

“But yeah, there was no point where I would attack Valtteri and he was just managing his race of course also very well and looking after his tyres and of course I had Charles quite close behind me in the first stint. He had very good pace as well.

“At one point I said the tyres are pretty good, like they were completely worn to slicks, so it was very tricky out there of course, when the track is like it was, so we decided to box, and then after the stop, with like 20 laps to go, I think, just decided to bring it home.”


Title pendulum swings in Max Verstappen's favour

After a controlled drive in Turkey, Max Verstappen now takes a six-point lead over Lewis Hamilton in the World Championship.