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Marko criticises Verstappen mistake and admits: We almost retired

Max Verstappen was forced to compete with an almost uncontrollable car during the British Grand Prix after he ran over a piece of the AlphaTauri and it became lodged in the floor of his Red Bull. Helmut Marko noted how well Verstappen handled the situation, but pointed out a rare mistake from the Dutchman.

The British Grand Prix was one this season's more eventful races - but World Champion Max Verstappen was only able to play a leading role for 13 laps before running over a piece of debris, causing him to fall back down the field and eventually finish in seventh place overall. Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko looked back on the Grand Prix at Silverstone on Austrian ServusTV and spoke about how the Dutchman shot out of the grid when the race first began, overtaking pole-sitter Carlos Sainz and into the lead before being called back to the pits due to the red flag after Guanyu Zhou's terrifying crash. "We had chosen the soft tyre at the start and he passed everyone on the first start, before the crash! Then we wondered why we were not allowed to start from pole position for the restart. "It went relatively well after that. We were faster than the Ferraris and Sainz then went off the track," he said about the moment Verstappen took the lead for a second time. However, the joy was short-lived when, shortly after he took the lead, Verstappen had to relinquish it to Sainz again. He drove over a piece of debris and slowed before heading into the pits thinking he had a puncture "Max's first reaction was: the car is no longer steerable. Then you naturally think of a flat tyre," explained the Austrian. "We brought him in and then saw that wasn't right."

Marko points to Verstappen mistake

Marko then saw his driver make a mistake due to his irritation with the situation. "Verstappen drove into the pitlane so fast and angry that he screwed up his good set of medium tyres when he put on the brakes when entering the pitlane. As a result, that set could no longer be used. That was a mistake made by Verstappen, but in the situation it was understandable," he said. When the problem was obviously not a flat tyre, the team quickly let their driver know, however, he was still annoyed with the way the car was handling. "We have cameras in different positions and many sensors,” he explained. ”Our engineers looked at everything and determined that the car was still safe to drive. We communicated that. "Verstappen shouted: 'the car is uncontrollable, something must be broken.' So in the end it turned out to be part of Yuki Tsunoda's rear wing. It was wedged in the Venturi ducts, causing us to lose 20% downforce. That's in terms of lap time about one and a half to two seconds!"

Red Bull considered retiring Verstappen from the race

Verstappen's switch from the medium rubber to the hard made the problem worse, says Marko. This made the team consider retiring the number 1 car from the race. "On the hard tyre, the problems were even worse because Max thought he had no downforce at the front either," he said. "We considered bringing Verstappen in and stopping to save the engine. However, so long as we were in the points, we decided not to, so we continued. The temperatures of certain parts did rise, but luckily when we switched to the soft tyre it got better." "Thank God we still had that tyre!" he exclaimed. "It was much stronger, we made up places and fought with Mick Schumacher at the end of the race. In the end it was the right decision to continue as long as we were in the points and there were no technical problems."

RESULTS 2024 F1 Chinese Grand Prix - Qualifying