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Christian Horner

Horner reveals extent of Verstappen damage after shock mistake

Christian Horner revealed the extent of Max Verstappen's damage following his collision with a bollard during the Miami Grand Prix.

Horner Miami
To news overview © XPBimages

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has revealed that Max Verstappen sustained significant floor damage following his collision with a bollard, to the extent that the team boss praised his second place finish as "pretty decent".

Verstappen was leading the race by almost a handful of seconds when a rare error saw him drive into a bollard at the tight Turn 15 on Lap 20, causing substantial damage to the underside of his RB20.

The damage cost the reigning world champion a fair chunk of time every lap that followed at the Miami International Autodrome, which played to Lando Norris' advantage.

Norris had already been lapping quicker than Verstappen in P5 but inherited the genuine race lead on Lap 29, after capitalising on a cheap pit-stop during the race's only safety car.

McLaren's luck demoted Verstappen to second, and whilst he attacked Norris at the restart, he quickly fell several seconds behind the British driver who claimed a maiden F1 win.

Verstappen, like virtually the entire field, pitted prior to the safety car, yet until that point he was still managing his advantage over the drivers behind, including Norris.

Damage caused huge loss

It was Norris' fresher tyres post-safety car which was the real killer, as was the Red Bull driver's damage.

"He hit the bollard around Lap 20 and that's actually done quite a lot of damage to the underside of the car," Horner revealed to select media including RacingNews365. "So we'll have to look at exactly what the effects of that was.

"But he had enough pace at that point, he was pulling clear of Oscar [Piastri] behind and Lando before he picked up that damage and then, obviously, thereafter we then pitted.

"And yeah, the safety car came out at the best time for Lando, which gave him essentially a free stop. But, obviously, not great for us because then you're on tyres six or seven laps older.

"And with the damage, I think that actually second place was actually still a pretty decent result."

According to Red Bull's initial data, the Milton Keynes-based outfit identified that Verstappen's floor damage was costing him a sizeable 0.250s per lap.

Norris maximised the pain Verstappen's damage was causing the three-time world champion, as the McLaren star escaped almost eight seconds down the road.

"He lost two and a half tenths every lap in turn one," stated Horner.

"Now whether that was because of the damage, I think when you actually see the pictures of what was missing it wasn't designed like that."

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