Formula 1 Racing

How Red Bull overruled Verstappen to avoid race-losing tyre choice error · RaceFans

Start, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2024

Max Verstappen nearly blew his shot at winning the Canadian Grand Prix as Red Bull faced a high-pressure pit stop decision when the Safety Car was deployed.

At this crucial juncture in the race, Lando Norris lost his chance to win by waiting a lap before coming in. Verstappen did pit, but originally told his team to fit slick tyres, a decision which would have been a costly error as rain was about to fall.

His race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase made a last-second call to overrule Verstappen’s tyre choice and fit intermediates instead. That proved a race-winning move, as almost every other driver at that point chose the same tyres, and they proved the correct choice for the rain which their radars told them was about to arrive.

Verstappen’s radio messages reveal more about his race, including how Red Bull lobbied the race director to activate DRS so he could attack Russell, and how the team warned him their other car was dropping debris on the track:

Max Verstappen’s 2024 Canadian Grand Prix radio messages

Jump to:

“Just survival for the moment”
“I need DRS”
“That’s Miami back”
“We’re expecting Lando to pit ahead of you”
“Debris at turn 10”
“Would you sacrifice some track position for a new set?”
“Check my tyres, I ran over debris”
“It was actually a motor race”

“Just survival for the moment”

Conditions were treacherous in the opening laps

The race began with a standing start on a wet track. Verstappen’s race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase advised him to expect a little more rain, after which the track would start to dry out. Lambiase stayed quite for much of the opening laps while the conditions were especially demanding:

Lap: 1/70 VER: 1’44.993
Lambiase So just under three minutes, Max. And DRS has been disabled.
Lambiase Max, we’ve got a circuit update from the Safety Car. We have some standing water at the apex of turn two, but the remainder of the track is simply wet. No puddles.
Lambiase Okay, Max, so intel on the rain intensity: You may notice that it picks up, in intensity, but we expect that could only last around a minute or two before it reduces again.
Lambiase Okay, so just under one minute.
Lambiase You’re free to push on the throttle, Max, to turn 13 as you need to. For tyre prep.
Lambiase So just to confirm: four burnouts and the extra ramp.
Lambiase Last car approaching, back of the grid.
Lambiase Car behind 1.3, Max. And it’s Norris behind.
Lap: 2/70 VER:…

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