Red Bull’s Max Verstappen crashed out of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix after what seemed to be a dramatic tyre failure.
The Dutchman had been running P2 after making an impressive move around the outside of Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas who had floor damage, but on Lap 51 all that work came undone.
On the run to Villeneuve on-board cameras showed a piece of debris fly up from Verstappen’s RB16 as the Dutchman then lost control and slid into the gravel trap.
Sadly that Red Bull was beached and Verstappen’s race was over.
LAP 51/63 – SAFETY CAR
— Formula 1 (@F1) November 1, 2020
Verstappen had completed 32 laps on his hard tyres but it seems that a tyre failure was the actual cause of the incident.
The Red Bull man had started the race in style, making a move on Lewis Hamilton to make it up into P2.
Hamilton would then overcut both Verstappen and team-mate Valtteri Bottas to take over the lead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, putting Verstappen in position to make the move on Bottas shortly after the Finn had dipped a wheel into the gravel.
Verstappen had looked set for a comfortable P2 after building a gap of around seven seconds over Bottas.
Speaking to Sky F1 about the incident, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said: “Obviously it’s a still a bit early but from everything we can see it looks like an instantaneous puncture which suggests some kind of debris.
“Huge shame because he made the pass on Valtteri, I don’t think we would have caught Lewis but it was a guaranteed second.”