True Extent Of Damage On Verstappen's Car Revealed By Horner

Monday, 06 May 2024 at 16:00
verstappen max redbull rbcp172
Red Bull Racing's team principal discussed the damage Max Verstappen's RB20 suffered during the 2024 Miami Grand Prix.
The sixth round of the 2024 season at Miami International Autodrome is only the second race this year not won by the triple World Champion.
Despite qualifying on pole, Verstappen couldn't bring home another win for his team. Luck hasn't played in the 24-year-old's favor, but it became clear at the end he didn't have enough pace to challenge his friend Lando Norris.
In fact, Norris was able to create a 7-second gap between himself and the Red Bull Racing F1 driver before the end of the race. Could McLaren have closed the gap to Red Bull already?
Obviously, the track suited the Papaya team very well, and the Austrian, on the other hand, complained about incorrect setup.
However, Christian Horner also told the media after the race that Verstappen's RB20 suffered some damage around lap 20, which could have played a role:

"He hit the bollard around Lap 20 and that's actually done quite a lot of damage to the underside of the car. So we'll have to look at exactly what the effects of that was."

"But he had enough pace at that point, he was pulling clear of Oscar [Piastri] behind and Lando before he picked up that damage and then, obviously, thereafter we then pitted."

While Verstappen's lap times didn't suggest he lost pace, the team principal of the team from Milton Keynes said the comparison to Norris revealed he lost two-tenths of a second in the first corner every single lap after the safety car.

"And yeah, the safety car came out at the best time for Lando, which gave him essentially a free stop. But, obviously, not great for us because then you're on tires six or seven laps older. And with the damage, I think that actually, second place was actually still a pretty decent result."

"He lost two and a half tenths every lap in turn one. Now, whether that was because of the damage, I think when you actually see the pictures of what was missing it wasn't designed like that."

When the 26-year-old driver was asked about the damage to his car after the race, he said he personally didn't feel any difference.

"It didn't feel different, so I don't know. Maybe it was already damaged. I don't know. I mean I hit that thing and then my pace was the same so I didn't really know if there was damage."