Following his pole position triumph over home favorite Lando Norris, Max Verstappen shed light on the pitlane incident that occurred during the red flag period in Q1, where his front wing sustained damage.
It was revealed that Verstappen had encountered difficulty maneuvering into the fast lane without making contact with the adjacent wall upon exiting his pit garage. As a result, the left-hand side of his front wing broke off.
Red Bull swiftly wheeled the #1 car back to the team’s pitbox for a prompt replacement, rectifying the damage and ensuring Verstappen could rejoin the queue for the restart.
Recapping the eventful Q1 session, Verstappen explained the challenges he faced in identifying the grippy sections of the circuit. He attributed the broken front wing to understeering out of the pit garage.
“On that final lap, I had a little incident in the pits where I destroyed my front wing,” Verstappen recounted.
“I experienced some understeer as I exited the box due to excessive rear grip. I had to switch to a new front wing, which meant starting the final run from the back of the pack.
“It was quite exciting. I had to overtake a few cars here and there during the out-lap to set a lap time. Fortunately, it worked out well enough. However, it demonstrates how quickly things can go awry, resulting in elimination.
“When I approached Turn 15 for the first time, I veered straight off because I couldn’t see the wet parts. It was quite peculiar because Turns 15 and 16 were somewhat damp, making it challenging to identify the exact locations. You could only sense them.
“It took some time to overcome this obstacle. However, my main focus was to complete the laps since we knew we had a fast car. I didn’t want to risk it all to secure passage.”
When asked if damaging his front wing affected his confidence, Verstappen jokingly admitted to feeling apprehensive about leaving his garage again. However, he quickly dismissed any significant impact on his confidence.
“I suppose I’m scared to drive out of my box now,” Verstappen quipped with a grin.
“No, it has nothing to do with confidence. My engineer asked me what happened, and I explained that I encountered understeer. It’s just one of those things.
“The last time I properly hit a wall was a few years ago, right here. These things happen. I’ve crashed cars before in the pitlane, but not in F1.”
Verstappen also brushed off another incident during the final phase of Q1 when he encountered Lewis Hamilton in the queue to set their final flying laps. Although Hamilton weaved across the Wellington Straight ahead of him, Verstappen downplayed the situation, attributing it to his own cold tires and Hamilton’s tire preparation.
“It occurred during the out-lap. My tires were very cold since most of the drivers ahead of me had fresh tires, but I remained on my used set.
“I attempted to overtake, but naturally, he was trying to warm up his tires, so it took some time to find a gap to pass through.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about pitlane incident
What happened during Max Verstappen’s pitlane incident in the F1 British GP qualifying?
During the red flag period in Q1, Max Verstappen damaged his front wing while exiting his pit garage. He made contact with the opposite wall, breaking off the left-hand side of the wing. The Red Bull team quickly replaced it to get him back in the queue for the restart.
How did Max Verstappen explain the pitlane incident?
Verstappen explained that he experienced understeer while leaving the pit garage, causing him to damage his front wing. He mentioned that it was challenging to identify the grippy sections of the circuit, and he couldn’t see the damp areas in Turns 15 and 16. However, he managed to get the laps in and demonstrated confidence in the team’s fast car.
Did the pitlane incident affect Max Verstappen’s confidence?
Verstappen jokingly stated that he was scared to drive out of his box again after the incident. However, he clarified that the incident had no impact on his confidence. He acknowledged that accidents happen, and while he had crashed cars before in the pitlane, it was his first such incident in Formula 1.
How did Max Verstappen handle encountering Lewis Hamilton during the qualifying session?
Verstappen encountered Hamilton during the final phase of Q1. Hamilton was weaving across the Wellington Straight to warm up his tires, which made it difficult for Verstappen to pass. Verstappen attributed the situation to his own cold tires and Hamilton’s tire preparation. He patiently found a gap to make his way past.