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Helmut Marko

Marko reveals massive damage to Verstappen car

Max Verstappen endured most of qualifying for the British Grand Prix with a damaged car.

Verstappen Wet Qualifying Silverstone
To news overview © XPBimages

Helmut Marko has revealed Max Verstappen's Red Bull sustained major floor damage that resulted in a significant loss of downforce and heavily compromised his qualifying performance ahead of the British Grand Prix.

Verstappen was forced to power over the gravel on the outside of Copse corner during mixed conditions in Q1 – where he infamously crashed in 2021 – and sustaining the substantial floor damage. 

It was the same corner where Sergio Perez had spun minutes earlier in the opening part of qualifying, resulting in the Mexican's RB20 becoming beached, and ultimately his elimination in Q1. 

As for the three-time F1 champion, he wrestled his car into Q3, where fourth was the best he could salvage thanks to adjustments made by Red Bull to minimise the impact of the damage. 

Of concern is the fact the floor introduced for the British GP is a new specification.

Given the extent of Verstappen's floor damage, Marko was elated with the Dutchman sealing a grid slot on the second row.

"I am over the moon," Marko told Sky DE. "Max went off the track at Turn 9 and sustained damage that was around 100 points of downforce. 

"The mechanics did what was possible in this short time in terms of repair work. 

"For the rest, we made some adjustments to the wings so we were able to reduce the damage to about 20 per cent for the last part of qualifying. Fourth place is sensational."

RB20 'toxic'

Whilst Verstappen is still a favourite for victory on Sunday at Silverstone, Red Bull has not been the strongest team. 

Both McLaren and Mercedes have shown strong pace in all conditions, whereas Red Bull has appeared to lag behind. 

According to Marko, the traditional Silverstone wind played a huge role in pushing its car to the limit. The advisor did not think pole position was possible without the floor damage.

"The car is toxic," conceded Marko. "Above all, the car does not always react in the same way.

"The wind also plays a role, we are definitely at the limit. I actually don't think pole position would have been possible, but maybe P2."

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