Formula 1 Racing

Verstappen’s unseen post-crash error and thwarted bid for fastest lap bonus · RaceFans

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Red Bull Ring, 2024

Max Verstappen salvaged 10 useful points after his collision with Lando Norris in the Austrian Grand Prix. But his bid to take another was thwarted by an unexpected rival.

While Norris retired due to the damage caused by his punctured tyre, Verstappen was able to continue. He left the pits in fifth place with seven laps remaining.

Lewis Hamilton was six-and-a-half seconds ahead of him in fourth place. Though that was a large gap to reduce, Verstappen was running a set of soft tyres which, although used, had more life in them than Hamilton’s harder, 11-lap-old medium rubber.

Indeed, Verstappen might have been in an even better position had he not used his final fresh set of soft tyres in qualifying to better a lap time which was already quick enough for pole position, a decision Norris expressed surprise at after the session.

But Verstappen committed a greater error soon afterwards. He was instructed to make a settings change during the Safety Car period but hit the wrong button and activated his pit lane speed limiter instead:

Lap: 65/71 VER: 1’33.697
Lambiase Strat 11 tyre eight. Strat 11 tyre eight.
Lambiase Okay so you’ve got Hamilton at seven seconds ahead Max. Seven laps remaining. Hamilton pace…
Verstappen {Interrupts} Did you see the floor damage?
Lambiase Hamilton pace 9.9. Nothing we can do about that now Max so just focus on the car ahead.
Lambiase ‘VSC deployed, VSC deployed. Plus one. And fail 10. Fail 1-0 fail.
Lap: 66/71 VER: 1’23.719
Verstappen Mate my delta’s fucked. I have no power. Hello?
Lambiase Stand by Max. {Feed cuts out}
Verstappen Why am I negative? What’s going here?
Lambiase Stand by Max, stand by.
Lambiase Okay VSC ending Max and you had the pit lane speed limiter on. VSC ending.
Verstappen Yeah but the delta was fucked.
Lap: 67/71 VER: 1’11.691
Lambiase We’ve lost four seconds to Hamilton ahead.

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Verstappen switched to softs in bid for fastest lap

Running at the pit lane speed limit instead of the Virtual Safety Car delta time cost Verstappen four-and-a-half second compared to Hamilton ahead. He ended the race 4.1 seconds behind the Mercedes driver, and as the DRS effect was so powerful there’s a reasonable chance he could have caught his rival for two more points.

At this point Verstappen had not been given his 10-second penalty for colliding with Norris. But Red Bull presumably thought it was likely, as their…

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