Max Verstappen and Christian Horner are in-debt of Red Bull Racing mechanics who helped them finish second in F1 Hungarian GP.
Verstappen – like the rest of us – thought his F1 Hungarian GP was over long before the lights even went out on the race, as he slid into the barrier and damaged the suspension on his rain-soaked lap to the grid at Hungaroring.
It transpired, however, that he would contest the race, thanks to a decision from Red Bull, and an incredible effort from the Dutchman’s mechanics that saw them replace a suspension member called the track-rod just in the nick of time, as the crew pulled off the procedure on the RB16 with less than thirty seconds to spare.
Their incredible work was applauded by many in the F1 community – it even surprised Lewis Hamilton that he thought Verstappen would have retired – as some prominent social media figures of the sport even jokingly suggested that the crew should be voted ‘Driver of the Day’ for their heroics in such a short span of time.
Verstappen would ultimately be granted this title, but nonetheless, Red Bull team principal Horner said that the 22-year-old owes his result to this dedicated team of people, as he told of how the situation was handled. “Max redeemed himself,” he said.
“On the lap to the grid on the inters, he did his best to go off — I think he went off three times! Most terminally, coming back down through here. We made a late call and said ‘drive it back to the grid’, and he managed to keep it running, and reversed it out.
“He was going to come into the pits. He thought it was all over, but we could see from the TV that it was mainly the pushrod and the trackrod, so we drove it to the grid and the mechanics on that car – Leroy, Oli, all the boys did an amazing job.
“Getting that turned around in 20 minutes – it’s something that would usually take an hour and a half. He owes that result to them. If that had been a wishbone, or even an upright, it would have been game over, so it was very lucky in that respect, but I think we completed it with 25 seconds to go.
“The sweat was dripping off the guys. Looking at them work then was amazing,” summed up Horner. In fact, the boss hailed the work of Red Bull mechanics to the extent that they managed to do this after three weekends of work, especially in Hungary, where they broke curfew and had to do more to get the car ready after early troubles.
Verstappen, meanwhile had no problem crediting his better-than-anticipated second-place finish to the crew, as he expressed his gratitude post-race. “I basically locked up and I came off the brakes, tried to brake again, locked again, and I just went straight on,” he said.
“I was already struggling the whole lap for grip and then basically just locked up and I couldn’t get out of it so I just went straight into the wall. I thought the race was over but I managed to reverse the car out of the wall. It’s like a ‘never give up’ mentality, still. Bring the car to the grid and see what happens, right?
“I could have jumped out there and say it’s over but clearly you could see that after the mechanics, they did an amazing job to repair that car. The first lap was really good and from the onwards we made the right calls with strategy, when to box and what tyre to put on, and to be able to split the two Mercedes cars in the race after such a difficult weekend for us is a great result and something we definitely didn’t expect,” summed up Verstappen.
Elaborating more on his pre-race sentiments, Verstappen stated that he was calm and that he did not speak much with either Horner and or Dr. Helmut Marko. Additionally, the Dutchman did feel concerned with Valtteri Bottas was catching him.
He recalled last year’s race but was relieved to see-through it. Going back to the race start, Verstappen explained that he chose the outside line and could ease past his F1 rivals, who were protecting the inside, which helped in jumping to second.
Here’s an explanation on Valtteri Bottas no penalty
Here’s details of the post-race investigations including Red Bull
Here’s how the F1 Hungarian GP panned out
The story was edited by Darshan Chokhani