Renault engine blameless in Verstappen's Bahrain Q1 crash

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Renault engine blameless in Verstappen's Bahrain Q1 crash
Adam Cooper
By: Adam Cooper
Apr 13, 2018, 8:35 AM

Red Bull Formula 1 boss Christian Horner has confirmed there was no car or engine issue when Max Verstappen crashed out in the first segment of qualifying at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB14 on the grid
The crashed car of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB14 is recovered in Q1
The crashed car of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB14 is recovered in Q1
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB14
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing crashed in Q1 and is given a lift on a motorbike

Instead, Horner said the accident was a result of the Dutchman’s foot jumping on the throttle pedal as he ran over the kerbs.

After the accident, Verstappen had complained of a 150bhp power surge, prompting cynical responses from some of his rivals.

Fellow Renault power unit user Nico Hulkenberg said: “I would like to know where the 150 horsepowers are coming from. Does he have a party mode as well?

"I haven't experienced that. It doesn't change from one lap to another. Let me put it like this – that’s Greek to me.”

Although some observers suggested that there may have been a technical problem – possibly a sticking throttle – Horner insisted that there were no mechanical issues, and that the kerbs were the trigger.

“It wasn’t a stuck throttle,” Horner told Motorsport.com. “I think when he got high on the kerb there was an oscillation on the foot. It was fairly obvious.

“The gearshift around there has always been a bit lumpy, and I think it was a combination of that, pushing flat out, up on the kerb, oscillation with the foot – put a lot of stuff together, that’s what happens.

"So there’s nothing to read into it.”

Renault Sport boss Cyril Abiteboul confirmed that the French manufacturer had found nothing wrong in its investigations.

“The engine has done exactly what the throttle was asking, it was very clear,” he told Motorsport.com.

“It’s a determinist thing, cause and consequence, when you press on the throttle, something is happening to the engine. The engine has reacted in exactly the same way that it was supposed to react.”

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