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Max Verstappen

Red Bull confirm major change to Verstappen's 'toxic' car

Max Verstappen sustained significant damage to the floor of his Red Bull in qualifying for the British GP.

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Max Verstappen will run with a new floor on his Red Bull for the British Grand Prix after it sustained major damage in qualifying at Silverstone.

Verstappen will start fourth on the grid behind an all-British top-three of George Russell, Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris that had the majority of the fans at the circuit on their feet in delight.

The three-time F1 champion finished four-tenths of a second behind Russell, with the gulf a likely result of the floor damage incurred after running over the gravel out of Copse.

Minutes earlier, in wet-to-dry conditions, team-mate Sergio Perez suffered a snap of oversteer on the approach to Copse, leading to him taking to the run-off area where he slid off and beached his RB20 in the gravel.

Verstappen encountered the same issue but the Dutch driver kept the power down through the run-off and over the gravel before returning to the track.

However, it came at a cost as the floor damage then compromised his performance throughout the remainder of a qualifying session that was dominated by the three Britons.

Whether Verstappen could have challenged the trio without the floor damage is open to conjecture, but at least for the race, he will be operating on a level playing field again as a new floor will be fitted.

Although it will be done under parc fermé conditions, teams are allowed to replace damaged parts providing they are of the same specification. Red Bull came into this weekend with an updated floor following "subtle" and "minor" tweaks.

As to whether Verstappen can apply pressure on Russell, Hamilton and Norris remains to be seen, particularly as advisor Helmut Marko has described the RB20 as "toxic" and "at the limit" as it has 'not always reacted in the same way' given the conditions that have prevailed so far.

Marko, though, at least declared himself "over the moon" with Verstappen's qualifying peformance given the damage resulted in the loss of "around 100 points of downforce". Repairs at least reduced the damage to about 20 per cent, according to the Austrian.

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