ADVERTISEMENT
Verstappen: I destroyed the floor

Verstappen: I destroyed the floor

Verstappen: I destroyed the floor

Max Verstappen was lucky to make it out of Q1 during qualifying for the 2024 British Grand Prix, after an off-track excursion saw him driver with a damaged floor.

The Red Flag was brought out in Q1, after Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez got beached in the gravel after hitting a wet patch on slick tyres just as the track was drying up.

When the session was restarted, all teams and drivers rushed out to set a lap time on dry tyres as the threat of rain loomed, but Red Bull sent Verstappen out later, and the reigning Formula 1 Champion was caught out by some rain, and ended up on a rough ride in the gravel and damaging the floor of his RB20.

ADVERTISEMENT

The rain immediately eased off and qualifying was in full swing, Verstappen barely making it into Q2, and clearly struggling with his car, ultimately qualifying fourth, behind Lando Norris in third, Lewis Hamilton in second, and polesitter George Russell.

Over the team radio, Verstappen told his team: “I gave it everything. Guys, thank you very much for trying to fix it (the damage) as much as we could, yeah great effort.

“Just really unlucky we got off there, with the rain. We’ll go at it tomorrow,” the Dutchman vowed.

Speaking later to Sky Sports F1, the Red Bull ace explained his qualifying struggles, he said: “Just wrong place, wrong time. We went out a bit late but didn’t expect it to rain in Q1.

Verstappen was in survival mode after Q1

“I came out of Turn Seven and it started to rain on my visor. Everyone had already cleared that little rain area because people behind me also had to slow down.

“At Copse, I knew the people in front of me would do a lap time. You think the rain is maybe coming in, you have to put a lap in or you are out in Q1. So I tried to keep a bit of speed up. I did lift but it wasn’t enough because it was so slippery that I still had a moment.

“Then you don’t want to crash. So I had to go through the dirt and off line wet bit, skating through the gravel, trying to not hit the wall. But I destroyed the floor.

“From there onwards, it was trying to survive. The team did a great job to try and optimise the losses because you could see they were grinding and trying to optimise every bit because the floor was in a bad state.

“Initially, I was happy to get into Q3 because the car was a massive step down. To be P4, I’m quite happy with that,” Verstappen concluded.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner commented on Verstappen’s qualifying in Red Bull’s press release, he said: “Unfortunately a rattle through the gravel caused quite a bit of damage to Max’s floor which really impacted performance in the later stages of qualifying.

“The Team did a fantastic job in the garage to turn it around in between sessions to salvage what we could. It was a brilliant lap by Max also. To get on the second row with that amount of damage? We’ll take that.”

Perez: It was a silly mistake

Brown: Perez underperforming opening window for us

Overall, it was an afternoon to forget for Red Bull, as Perez was out of contention from Q1 after binning his car on his clumsy outlap on slick tyres, which was a pity, as the Mexican seemed to be in a better place ever since he arrived in Silverstone.

He now faces an uphill task on Sunday, starting from 19th on the grid, but with the RB20 at his disposal, Perez needs to deliver.

“I got caught out with the conditions,” Perez told Sky. “I was trying to warm up the tyres into Turn 9 but as I downshifted, I locked up the rear tyre and it went off the track.

“I ended up losing the car, going into the gravel and that was it. It hurts because to let your team down that way, it hurts a lot because I think the weekend was strong up to now.

“We were just not able to show the pace,” Perez lamented. He added in Red Bull qualifying report: “It was a silly mistake out there.

“I was one of the first to switch to the slick tyre and we saw a lot of mistakes in the conditions, unfortunately I was the one who got the worst of it.

“It will be hard to recover from the back of the grid but let’s see what we are able to do tomorrow, we must limit the damage and hope things go in our favour,” Perez concluded.

Horner said of Perez’ qualifying: “It was a tough qualifying for Checo. No one will be more disappointed than he, going out in Q1 like that.

“It’s obviously not what we can afford at the moment. He will need a big race tomorrow but there is still a lot of opportunity here so he’s not out yet,” the Briton concluded.