Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Silverstone, 2022

Seventh a “good result” after unavoidable debris damage – Verstappen

2022 British Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen says that his seventh place finish in the British Grand Prix was a “good result” after he struck debris in the early laps.

Verstappen had taken the lead after a mistake by eventual winner Carlos Sainz Jnr on lap ten. However, on lap 12, he struck debris along the Wellington Straight that had been left on track following a clash between AlphaTauri drivers Yuki Tsunoda and Pierre Gasly.

After pitting with a suspected puncture, Verstappen struggled for pace for the remaining 37 laps of the race. He eventually finished in seventh place.

“Of course I hope for more, but it’s just really unlucky what happened today,” said Verstappen. “I just never give up and just tried to do the best I could and still tried to score points.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner later explained that the debris had interfered with his floor, costing him downforce that compromised his performance.

“I didn’t ask yet how much I lost,” Verstappen explained.

“I already spoke to Carlos and he said ‘what happened? You were just losing parts’ when I was in the lead. When I jumped out of the car, I had a look under the floor and the whole left hand side underneath is completely ruptured. Like everything is gone.”

The debris he struck was unavoidable as it was sat on the racing line, Verstappen says.

“Once I got into the lead, after Carlos made the mistake, a few corners later in turn five there was a piece of carbon, but by the time I was there it was on the racing line – I could not drastically move left or right,” he explained.

“I tried to just hit it head on, but instead it just went into my floor and it just destroyed everything. It felt like a puncture, because suddenly I had no balance, a lot of oversteer and the car was hopping a lot.

“We decided to box and even after that the car was just a handful to drive. Then the tough bit was just to try and find a nice aero balance – because it caused a massive loss of mainly rear load – to try and back off the front wing. But, of course, when you do that, you just overload as well, so that wasn’t ideal on the hard tyre set. So for the last set, we went up again to try and give a bit more performance in low speed. It was very, very tough. But, at the end, I think seventh place was a good result with the damage I had.”

Verstappen had to hold off a last lap challenge from Mick Schumacher, where the Haas backed out of a last corner effort to pass the Red Bull. After the pair ran side-by-side through Brooklands earlier on the final lap, Verstappen appeared to push Schumacher off the circuit. The stewards noted but chose not to investigate the incident.

“It was a good, hard, but fair battle, I think,” said Verstappen.

“I knew Mick was going to give it all to go for seventh, but it was all right. It was a bit of a struggle for me to hang in there, but luckily it worked out.”

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2022 British Grand Prix

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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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15 comments on “Seventh a “good result” after unavoidable debris damage – Verstappen”

  1. Finishing 7th may be a “good result” but Ferrari screwing Leclerc’s race so you only lost 6 points in the title fight despite only having half a floor on your car is incredible!

    1. +1 Luckly Ferrari can be counted on to help Max….
      Funny part my friends said punture i saw from a camera ahead looking under the floor Max left side was in taters ….

  2. Heart in mouth stuff with Mick at the end. Good for TV, but the moves were senseless for both drivers!

    1. Gabriel, why do you think it was senseless? Was it because it was the last lap? What about if they’d done that with two laps to go, five, ten, would they all be senseless? And if you think it was senseless on Verstappen’s part, presumably that means you think he should have meekly moved aside and let Schumacher through rather than risk a collision? I can’t imagine any F1 driver doing that.

    2. Yep, this whole trying to overtake and trying to defend a position seems like a senseless exercise in a motor race. I’m hopeful the FIA will change the rules for next season to ensure the only overtaking happens in the pits and we don’t have to endure the senseless racing behaviour…

  3. If seventh is a “Good Result” then I wonder what second is after a wing replacement and starting dead last.
    Perez seems to be particularly good at this sort of thing. I just wish the commentators had paid more (as in any …) attention to his progress through the pack.
    Yes he got lucky with the late safety car, but it looked like he was 4th when it came out and you need to be in the right position to take advantage of opportunities like that.
    If Max can finish 7th with half a floor and Perez can drive trough the entire field from dead last, it should be sounding alarm bells in some team HQs. Now if they can only get the car to work in the rain.

    1. Perez can drive trough the entire field from dead last,

      It seems you forgot about the SC.
      I don’t think his drive was that spectacular yesterday and with the apparent advantage of the RBR he might have ended up one step short of where he should’ve been.

    2. Checo did a good job, but as Leclerc demonstrated earlier in the year and as we’ve seen in years past as well, 4th or 5th is an expected position for the front running teams starting at the back over a race distance. The Safety Car turned it into 2nd, so that’s a great result, but again, with the car Red Bull has compared to the rest of the field, anything under 4th this race would’ve been a bad result.

    3. @rekibsn it was not that big of an achievement. Firsty RBR, Mercedes and Ferrari where 1,5 sec faster than any other car on the track so to going from last to 4th at the final Safety Car was to be expected. After the SC it was easy to pass Leclerc who drove on old hard tires and Lewis had trouble warming up his tires so it was a good race but not something special by Perez.

  4. His move against Mick should have been penalized. They both went off the road, similar to his move against Hamilton in Brazil or what Alonso did to Raikkonen in Austin last year.

    May be Haas forgot to protest.

    One of the rare misses by Verstappen / Red Bull. While driving over debris was unavoidable, he need not have come into the pits. The usually swift Red Bull team weren’t able to quickly diagnose this as a non-puncture causing an unnecessary pit stop. But doubt if this miss caused any points loss to him. He finished 7th over 7 seconds behind Norris. So he probably had no more positions to gain.

    1. Ver thought there was something wrong, he said it felt like a puncture. He had to pit, just to make sure the car was safe enough to continue. It was all about safety, he could easily had a DNF because he has enough points in the lead.

    2. They can’t look under the car, so how could they diagnose it?

      1. They could monitor tyre pressure. They could have known its not a puncture.

        1. They do monitor the tires.. but if the drivers feels something in the car that has priority. Looking at the moment it happened and the entrance of the pits there was no discussion possible. Right call and he did great with half a floor.

  5. Intriguing insight into some of the twiddling and button-pressing that goes on, besides hitting all the braking points, target times and whatnot during a race.

    I wonder if teams can toughen up these floors, as they did with suspension and this year’s front wings – or even make the twiddly side bits replaceable. Floors seem to be the new front wings, essential to the aero performance of the car but easily damaged.

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