Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has revealed the extend of the damage he picked up while leading the British Grand Prix last weekend.
The Dutchman took the lead from Carlos Sainz when the Spaniard made a mistake at Chapel, but as the 24-year-old headed into Aintree corner, he ran over a piece of debris that had been deposited after Yuki Tsunoda collided with AlphaTauri team-mate Pierre Gasly.
The debris severely damaged the underside of Verstappen’s car, and led to a horrible lack of balance and downforce which affected him for the remainder of the afternoon.
There may have been a question as to whether it was safe to continue, but his race engineer, Gianpiero Lambiase, is a trustworthy team member with years of experience, so if he says it is safe, he is probably right.
“As soon as GP says it’s safe to drive, I mean, he would never put me in danger,” Verstappen told the Race.
“I know when they tell me it’s bodywork damage, and we can see the losses in downforce, then it’s fine.
“I know there’s damage, but if there’s like suspension damage it’s a different story, luckily, it wasn’t that.”
The reigning champion detailed how had the damage was after Sainz told him there were bits coming off his car.
“I already spoke to Carlos, he said ‘what happened, you were just losing parts’ when I was in the lead,” added Verstappen.
“When I jumped out of the car I had a look under the floor and the whole left-hand side underneath is completely ruptured, like everything is gone.
“Once I got into the lead after Carlos made a mistake, like a few corners later in Turn 5 there was a piece of carbon, but by the time I was there it was on the racing line, I couldn’t drastically move left or right.
“So, I tried to just hit it head on, but instead it just went into my floor and just destroyed everything.
“It felt like a puncture because suddenly I had no balance, a lot of oversteer, like the car was hopping a lot.
“So then of course we decided to box, and even after that the car was just completely a handful to drive.”
Verstappen ended the race in seventh after holding off Mick Schumacher in the closing laps, while Sainz went on to take victory after another strategic blunder cost Charles Leclerc the victory.
The Monegasque ended up behind Sergio Perez and Sir Lewis Hamilton as he crossed the line fourth.