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Max Verstappen

Verstappen lap time loss after damage in Miami revealed

A rare mistake caused Max Verstappen to suffer floor damage and lose time at the Miami Grand Prix. But how costly was the slip-up?

Verstappen Miami race
Article
To news overview © XPBimages

The Miami Grand Prix did not go smoothly for Max Verstappen, who 'just' won the sprint race and took pole position.

On Sunday, Lando Norris benefitted from the timing of a safety car to take the lead of the race after making his one and only pit stop of the race. The McLaren driver took full advantage of the situation and stormed to his first career grand prix victory.

However, the problems of Verstappen helped Norris. The 26-year-old world champion was nearly taken out at the start by team-mate Sergio Perez and suffered a scratched diffuser before making a rare mistake on lap 21.

The Dutchman shot straight ahead in the tight chicane at Turn 14, which resulted in floor damage.

"He hit the bollard around Lap 20 and that's actually done quite a lot of damage to the underside of the car," team principal Christian Horner said. "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.”

Lap times

The question is - how much disruption did Verstappen really suffer? During the race, it could be heard on the radio that engineer Gianpiero Lambiase told Verstappen he was losing almost all of his time to Norris through the first corner.

Horner confirmed this after the race.

"He lost two and a half tenths every lap in turn one," he said. "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."

Afterwards, partly through close-up footage, it became clear that Verstappen really did have a small hole in his floor. He bounced over the kerb after his mistake, resulting in a small carbon piece being dislodged.

Under the current ground effect regulations, the floor is very important when it comes to generating downforce, so there is no question that Verstappen was down on speed.

But could Verstappen have challenged Norris had he not had floor damage? We'll never know for sure, but based on lap times, it seems it did make a small difference.

Verstappen lost an average of three-tenths per lap on older tyres, which can therefore be traced almost entirely to the first corner. Of course, Norris was slightly faster in other areas and Verstappen struggled with his RB20 all weekend, but perhaps the battle would have been more exciting had the Red Bull driver not made a mistake.

View lap times from the final stint below!

Lap times of Verstappen and Norris after the safety car

Lap VER NOR
33 1:32.227 1:31.157
34 1:31.611 1:31.289
35 1:31.409 1:31.391
36 1:31.456 1:31.133
37 1:31.377 1:31.074
38 1:31.526 1:31.134
39 1:31.336 1:31.192
40 1:31.487 1:31.222
41 1:31.375 1:31.059
42 1:31.455 1:31.340
43 1:31.435 1:31.066
44 1:31.452 1:31.180
45 1:31.537 1:31.068
46 1:31.788 1:31.352
47 1:31.513 1:31.423
48 1:31.261 1:31.135
49 1:31.597 1:31.177
50 1:31.338 1:31.227
51 1:31.284 1:31.080
52 1:31.428 1:31.244
53 1:31.473 1:31.251
54 1:31.546 1:31.276
55 1:31.408 1:30.980
56 1:31.490 1:31.040
57 1:31.699 1:31.575

Also interesting:

Join RacingNews365's Ian Parkes and Nick Golding as they are joined by ex-Formula 1 team principal Otmar Szafnauer to discuss the 'silliest of silly seasons' as well as McLaren and Lando Norris' victory at the Miami Grand Prix.

Rather watch than listen to our podcast? Click here

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