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

Sunday, 07 July 2024 at 10:22
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Red Bull bosses Christian Horner and Helmut Marko discussed the true extent of the damage on Max Verstappen's car during the qualifying session for the 2024 British Grand Prix.
Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen scored his second-worst qualifying result (the worst was P6 in Monaco) of the 2024 season during the British Grand Prix's qualifying session.
The Dutchman's fourth-fastest time means he will start the race from the second row on the grid. One main reason for this was the damage to his RB20 during Q1.
The track conditions during the qualifying session at Silverstone changed every second, and both Red Bull drivers paid the price for it. First, Sergio Perez lost his car in the Copse corner (turn number 9) and got stuck in the gravel.
Second, Verstappen lost his car in exactly the same place but managed to get through the gravel, albeit with significant damage to his floor that would impact the rest of the session.
Just how big was the damage on the triple World Champion's car when he still managed to put in the fourth fastest time? Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner answered this question. As reported by, he said:

"The damage to the floor cost him about three-tenths, which I would say is a lot of downforces lost. The mechanics did an incredible job to repair the car the best they could, but the downforce was lower."

"Max did the best he could with what he had, and his final lap was exceptional, in my opinion. To finish fourth with the damage he had, so close to pole, was a really good lap."

Apparently, the lap the 26-year-old put in to score the P4 was incredible, considering the damage he's had on his car. Red Bull's motorsport advisor Helmut Marko told Sky Germany:

"I am over the moon. Max went off the track at Turn 9 and sustained damage that was around 100 points of downforce."

"The mechanics did what was possible in this short time in terms of repair work. For the rest, we made some adjustments to the wings, so we were able to reduce the damage to about 20 percent for the last part of qualifying. Fourth place is sensational,"

Could Verstappen have otherwise fought for pole?

Ultimately, the Dutchman's best time was 0,384 seconds slower than the pole position lap set by Mercedes driver George Russell- who scored his second pole position in 2024.
Considering that Horner suggested the damage cost Verstappen about three-tenths, we might assume he would have been right there in the fight for pole, or at least for the front row start.
Interestingly, the opinions of the triple World Champion and Marko were divided into this matter. The 81-year-old said: "I actually don't think pole position would have been possible, but maybe P2."
On the other hand, the driver himself believed he could have secured the pole had it not been for the damage. Nevertheless, he looked forward to the race, as he added:

"I think we could've fought for pole, but everything is possible from P4. We'll have to drive a more attacking race, but that's fun too."