Things could have been very different for Max Verstappen and Red Bull at the 2022 British Grand Prix, but the Dutchman had a problem with his car which team principal Christian Horner has pointed out the cause.
Verstappen was leading the British GP at Silverstone having overtaken Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz, but then just a lap later was passed by Sainz and then Charles Leclerc, with the Red Bull man complaining of a puncture.
“He didn’t have a puncture, there was no puncture,” Horner told reporters. “He said that because it was so bad. It felt like a puncture.
“Basically on Lap 11 he hit a piece of debris which was an AlphaTauri part from the incident that they had. So he’s then done the race with a modified floor with a piece of AlphaTauri endplate stuck under the bottom of the car.
“And he’s lost just an enormous amount of downforce. He reported a puncher, but we couldn’t see it on the data, so we made a precautionary pit stop.
“The loss of downforce was close to 20 percent. We could see there was a massive loss of downforce.
“And then you then rely on looking at trying to identify what’s the cause because it was underneath there was nothing obvious. It wasn’t like half the floor was hanging off.
“So it was difficult to actually understand it initially, which was why Max recorded the puncture.”
Bad luck for Red Bull
With Red Bull encountering problems for both cars through the race, Horner believes that Verstappen and Sergio Perez were both faster than the Ferrari pair.
“It’s a shame we didn’t get more out of the weekend, because I think Max having got the lead, I think he could have won that race today,” Horner continued.
“I think Checo on a starting in position again, I think we had a faster car than the Ferraris today, the Mercedes look very competitive, certainly the second half of the first stint.
“So they, as predicted at this race made a step forward. I mean, it was very impressive that Checo was able to get Lewis [Hamilton] at the restart [after the Safety Car].
“I think from a car point of view this weekend the performance has been been encouraging.”