‘You can’t beat a bit of gaffer tape’: Christian Horner on Max Verstappen repairs

Max Verstappen needed his floor to be patched up after hitting the kerb during FP1 in France.

Good old-fashioned tape has frequently been the answer for short-term repairs over the years in Formula 1, and the same went for Max Verstappen during practice for the French Grand Prix.

Verstappen suffered a disruption in the first session when he ran wide out of Turn 11 and hit the exit kerb, causing some damage to the underside of his car.

Chief designer Adrian Newey and chief engineer Paul Monaghan are known for their technical prowess and genius innovation but, sometimes, simpler methods are the way to go, so they stuck some tape on it.

“A bit of running repairs, you know, old school,” team principal Christian Horner told Sky Sports.

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“You can’t beat a bit of gaffer tape, and aerodynamics go out of the window a little bit at that point.

“Him [Newey] and Pedals [Monaghan] getting full Meccano, it was a bit of damage just on one of the kerbs, so it was all sorted out.”

Charles Leclerc beat Verstappen to the fastest lap time in FP1, before the other Ferrari if Carlos Sainz went quickest in the second session, continuing their impressive run of form since they introduced a new rear wing in Canada.

“We know they have had a quick car all year and we can see they are competitive again this weekend,” explained Horner.

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“There was only one lap where it looks like maybe they have gone up on engine mode [on] the first lap on the tyres.

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“We looked competitive on the mediums and the softs, and the long run looked reasonably okay as well.

“It was only a five-lap long run but on the whole, a lot of information to take away from the session.”

Red Bull have typically been quicker on race pace than Ferrari this season, and Horner reckons his team are on par in that department this weekend.

“If you look at the last little run over the five, six-lap period, I take real comfort in that I think we are closer,” he added.

“It’s been so tight between the two teams in the first 11 races, I’ve no reason to believe it will be really that much different here.

“It will be tyre deg, strategy…qualifying isn’t quite the premium of other circuits here because you can overtake, so you’ve got to be on the first couple of rows.”

Taking care of the tyres has also been the Austrian side’s strong suit throughout the season so far, and this could come in handy for the over 30 Degrees Celsius temperatures expected for Sunday’s race.