Limited damage found after Max’s Baku crash

Henry Valantine
Max Verstappen Baku Pirelli tyre failure

Mika Hakkinen offers his theory on Baku tyre failures.

Max Verstappen’s Red Bull RB16B got off lightly in his high-speed crash in Azerbaijan, with only minor damage found in what could have been an enormous shunt for the Dutchman.

A report from in Italy claims that Verstappen’s bodywork was not damaged due to the angle of his crash meaning the nose of his RB16B absorbed most of the impact on the straight.

While his left-rear suspension suffered damage due to the tyre failure, the report claims his damage was far less severe than that of Lance Stroll – who also went out in similar circumstances through a high-speed tyre blowout in Baku.

Having been leading in Baku, Verstappen’s left-rear tyre failed as he headed towards the start/finish line at almost 200mph with five laps to go in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

The 23-year-old was seen kicking his car in frustration after climbing out following the accident, but it appears the damage on his car is not as bad as first feared – and certainly less impactful than the crash Stroll had experienced 15 laps earlier.

Max Verstappen with his crashed Red Bull during the 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Tyre manufacturer Pirelli has since come under fire for both rear tyre failures in Baku. Although they say the blowouts were down to debris on the track, Verstappen himself blamed the tyre company and previously called his accident “life-threatening” – particularly if his car snapped in the other direction and headed towards the wall on pit entry.

However, his car did not suffer any structural damage to the chassis, but if any serious issues with his gearbox arose as a result of the nature of his accident, he will be able to have the parts changed without penalty heading into the French Grand Prix next weekend.

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