Red Bull discover issue that denied Max Verstappen Miami GP win

The Dutchman was denied victory for the second time this season as Lando Norris claimed his first F1 win in Miami

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Red Bull boss Christian Horner has revealed that damage to Max Verstappen’s car ruined his chances of competing for victory at the Formula 1 2024 Miami Grand Prix.

For the first time since Singapore in 2023 when he was P5, the Dutchman finished the race without being on the top step of the podium, as McLaren driver Lando Norris celebrated taking home his first victory in F1.

The significant moment in the race came on Lap 20 when Verstappen made a rare mid-race error and skipped the chicane at Turn 14, hitting a bollard which later had to be removed with the virtual safety car. He later complained about having no grip, even if there was no clear drop-off in his pace.

And Red Bull team principal Horner said that in their post-race inspection of the RB20, the team uncovered significant damage to the floor of the car.

Max Verstappen on the formation lap during the Sprint ahead of 2024 Miami Grand Prix of Miami | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Max Verstappen hit a bollard during the Miami Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

“He hit the bollard around Lap 20, and that’s actually done quite a lot of damage to the underside of the car, so we’ll have to look at exactly what the effect of that has been,” Horner told the written press in Miami, including Total-Motorsport.com.

Verstappen had been relatively comfortable out in front until he decided to put on fresh tyres on Lap 23, while Norris decided to stretch out the first stint. And the Briton’s patience paid off when Logan Sargeant’s incident with Kevin Magnussen brought out of the safety car, giving him essentially a free pit stop, and he emerged onto the track as the new race leader.

Horner: Verstappen damage ruined his chances

He then kept Verstappen behind him on the safety car restart, before impressively pulling out a 7.6-second advantage at the checkered flag. But Horner has suggested that if there had been no damage to his car, Verstappen would have caught Norris.

“He had enough pace at that point, he was pulling clear of Oscar [Piastri] behind and Lando before he picked up that damage,” Horner added. “Obviously thereafter, we then pitted.

“The Safety Car came out at the best time for Lando and gave him essentially a free stop, but obviously not great for us because then you’re on [tyres that are] five, six, seven laps older. And with the damage, I think second place was actually a decent result.”

Pushed further on the extent of the damage to Verstappen’s RB20, Horner added: “It’s a reasonable amount. The area around the left rear floor, there’s a reasonable amount that’s missing. I think when you actually see the pictures of what was missing, it wasn’t designed like that!”

Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan is an NCTJ-qualified journalist who has worked for a number of media organisations, including the Daily Express, The Mirror, Evening Standard, The Independent and Bleacher Report. Joe has been following F1 since when he watched Mika Hakkinen clinch the 1999 drivers' championship, and his first taste of real-life racing action was watching David Coulthard spin off into the gravel at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2001.
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