‘Max went off three times on the way to the grid’

Date published: July 22 2020

Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen’s crash on his way to the Hungarian GP grid was a case of third time unlucky for the Red Bull driver.

Set to line up in seventh place at the Hungaroring, Verstappen joined his rivals in making his way to the grid for the start of the 70-lap grand prix.

It almost resulted in a DNS.

In tricky conditions, team boss Christian Horner has revealed that the Dutchman had three offs on that one lap alone.

However, the third, the one caught on camera, was the worst.

Verstappen slid off the track and into the barrier nose first, damaging his RB16’s front suspension and breaking the front wing.

“I think Max went off three times on that lap to the grid,” Horner told Racer.

“The third one looked pretty terminal, so we could immediately see the track rod and the push rod was broken, the big question was had it done the wishbone as well?

“If it had done the wishbone, that would have been game over. We decided to drive the car to the grid and do our best to repair the car on the grid.”

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His mechanics worked furious to repair the car, changing parts including a pull rod. They finished the job with 25 seconds to spare.

“The mechanics did an unbelievable job,” Horner added. “What would usually take an hour and a half they did in 20 minutes, and with about 25 seconds to go.

“Full credit to them, because without them that result wouldn’t have been possible.

“Always at the back of your mind when you have a thump like that… it’s quite concerning to think what about the components you haven’t been able to see?

“Max was able to put it out of his mind, and was obviously a bit embarrassed on the grid having caused that amount of work, but he repaid them in the best possible way by putting in the drive that he did.”

Verstappen raced his way to second place on the day, doing so in a car that Red Bull hoped would go the distance.

“Some of (the camber and toe) is pre-set but obviously it had a hell of a knock, so it’s not ideal,” explained the team boss.

“Is it safe? We x-rayed the components on the grid and that came back fine, so it was a question of, ‘OK, it’s not going to be ideal, but get on with it’. Max didn’t report any issues at all with the car pulling to one side or anything like that.

“The guys came back, got themselves composed and did a sub two-second pit stop again. They have been phenomenal this weekend and he owes this result to them.

“He paid them back in the best possible way, but this result is so much down to the work on the grid and in the garage this weekend.”

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