Horner: Verstappen's F1 tyre failure "totally instantaneous"

Red Bull suspects that debris caused Max Verstappen’s “totally instantaneous” Formula 1 tyre failure in Sunday’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, costing the team a likely second-place finish at Imola.

Horner: Verstappen's F1 tyre failure "totally instantaneous"

Verstappen was comfortably running in second place before a blowout on his right-rear tyre at the Variante Villeneuve caused him to spin out of the race with 12 laps to go.

It marked a frustrating end of Verstappen’s race after the Dutchman had managed to pass Valtteri Bottas eight laps earlier following a close battle with the Mercedes driver.

Red Bull F1 boss Christian Horner explained after the race that the team suspected Verstappen had hit some debris due to the instant nature of the failure.

“We think that he's hit some kind of debris or something, because he was on the radio to his race engineer at the time and boom, the tyre suddenly went,” Horner said after the race.

“So it suggested something that has just caused a totally instantaneous puncture, and that was the result of it.

“Very, very frustrating, particularly after he managed to pass Valtteri, and it felt like today we had pretty decent pace. Annoying not to get that P2 today.”

Verstappen had jumped from third on the grid to run second through the opening stint after passing Lewis Hamilton on the opening lap, and was the first of the front-runners to pit in a bid to put pressure on race leader Bottas.

Mercedes responded by stopping Bottas one lap later, but opted to keep Hamilton out longer, allowing the British driver to get the jump on both Bottas and Verstappen once he had pitted.

Horner said it was impossible for Red Bull to cover off both strategies given it only had one car in the fight at the front.

“You're in a strategy sandwich at that point,” Horner said. “If you go for the undercut, they can go longer with the tail car, and you can't cover both options. You have got to pick the one that you want to try and beat.

“We actually picked to try and beat Lewis, because we felt that Valtteri on new tyres would also have the pace after after a stop, but his pace wasn't great.

“He was making a lot of mistakes, and that allowed Lewis to close into within a pitstop window, then they didn't take it. Then they got to traffic, and then the VSC came out and he had a free stop.”

Read Also:

Bottas had been struggling with damage on the floor of his Mercedes car since the second lap of the race, picking up debris from Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari.

It left Bottas struggling to match Hamilton’s pace and unable to pull a gap to Verstappen, before eventually losing second place after making a mistake at Rivazza and running wide.

Horner said that Bottas brake tested Verstappen in an attempt to keep the position, but the Red Bull driver opted to use DRS and wait until the Variante Tamburello to complete the overtake. 

“We were aware of the damage that Valtteri was was managing, and that obviously gave Lewis a pace advantage as well,” Horner said.

“That made it even more important for Max to put him under pressure, get a mistake, which he got.

“I was just talking to him, and he said Valtteri basically gave him a little brake test, which is fair play, in that corner where he made the mistake and nearly went up the back of him.

“But he was patient enough to come onto the straight, and then use the DRS and pass him into into turn two. At that point, things were looking good.”

shares
comments

Related video

Would Hamilton have won at Imola without VSC fortune?
Previous article

Would Hamilton have won at Imola without VSC fortune?

Next article

Russell: Imola crash the biggest mistake of my career

Russell: Imola crash the biggest mistake of my career
Load comments
How getting sacked from Benetton gave Mercedes' Allison lasting benefits Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton gave Mercedes' Allison lasting benefits

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax Prime

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021