Rivals ‘clapped’ Red Bull off grid after Max repairs

Date published: July 23 2020

Red Bull

Red Bull principal Christian Horner said his team’s mechanics were applauded by their rivals on the grid after repairing Max Verstappen’s RB16 in time for him to race in Hungary.

The Dutchman had a major oops moment before the Hungarian Grand Prix had even begun when he slid off into the barriers at Turn 12 on a damp track, wrecking the front wing and causing some damage to the front-left steering arm.

Red Bull managed to get him to the grid and following frantic repair work bolted the wheels on with under 30 seconds to go so that Verstappen could make the race start.

And the mechanic’s efforts proved to be more than worth it as Verstappen went on to finish P2, splitting the Mercedes.

And it wasn’t just the fans who appreciated their efforts, Red Bull’s rivals were so impressed that they clapped them off the grid.

Speaking in his column on the Red Bull website, Horner said: “The funny thing is, I wasn’t stressed about it. I felt that if anyone could do the repairs then our mechanics could.

“As soon as he got to the grid, they tore in to it but most importantly the non-destructive test inspection needed to happen on the components to make sure it was safe.

“Those results came out fine and then it was a race against the clock to get those parts changed, which is a massive undertaking because they are pretty complicated in design. You’d need to be a sensational piano player to be able to work your fingers within the space they had, such is the tight design of these cars.

“Everyone did their bit — the frontend boys, the No.1 mechanic, the chief mechanic — it was seamless. Of course, everything else also needs to happen on the car as normal, to prepare for the start of the race, so it was very well co-ordinated.

“Around five minutes from the cut-off point, the chief mechanic gave me a wink to say it was looking alright and the wheels went on with about 25 seconds to go.

“Other teams’ mechanics clapped our guys off the grid. It was the absolute epitome of teamwork, all the guys working together in synchronisation against the clock and getting the job done.

“They were properly buzzed in the garage and then, of course, they had to calm themselves down because it is the same mechanics doing the pit stops and they smashed in a sub two second pit stop as well — the quickest during the race — for the third race in a row. It was a phenomenal team performance.”

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