BAKU, Azerbaijan — Pink Bull group principal Christian Horner has defined the timing of the pit cease that noticed Max Verstappen lose the lead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix and fall behind teammate Sergio Perez.
Verstappen took the lead of the race on lap 4 from Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who began on pole place, and was forward of Perez in second place when he was referred to as into the pits on lap 10. Nonetheless, a security automotive interval instantly after Verstappen’s cease noticed Perez lose much less time when he made his tyre change and, together with Leclerc, emerge forward of Verstappen forward of the race restart.
The security automotive got here out when AlphaTauri driver Nyck de Vries hit the within barrier at Flip 5 and the went straight on at Flip 6 shortly earlier than Pink Bull referred to as Verstappen into the pits. The faucet in opposition to the barrier broke the steering on de Vries’ automotive and resulted in him being unable to proceed, resulting in a security automotive to permit the marshals to clear the AlphaTauri.
“The unlucky factor was the protection automotive, with 20/20 hindsight you’d have left him on the market one other lap,” Horner stated of Verstappen’s pit cease. “On the time from what we may see, we determined to pit Max as a result of he was beginning to wrestle a bit of bit with the rear tyres on his automotive, and Checo was clearly proper up behind him.
“So we determined, from a technique standpoint, it was the optimum time to take the cease. And with De Vries, the glimpse that we bought, all 4 wheels had been on the automotive, he hadn’t hit the barrier. And the engine was operating.
“It regarded like he would choose reverse and keep it up. We by no means anticipated that to go to a security automotive.
“Clearly with 20/20 imaginative and prescient, we might have simply achieved yet one more lap, and gone from there. You simply do not know at that time whether or not Charles goes to pit after which he all of a sudden jumps each of them.”
Footage of De Vries’ crashed automotive from above confirmed one of many entrance wheels going through the unsuitable method, however Horner stated his group merely did not register the harm.
“The issue was we did not have the visibility of De Vries, it was a fast shot of him and only a black set of strains, regarded like he’d outbraked himself, hadn’t hit the barrier,” Horner added. “Often should you see a automotive within the barrier, it is a security automotive, however there was no signal of it having hit the barrier.
“And so yeah, it was solely subsequently I believe on the replays that you just had been capable of see a observe rod was damaged.”
After the race, Verstappen stated it was one thing the group would evaluate however that the harm to De Vries’ automotive had not been apparent to him both.
“I may see the automotive stopping, and you might see it on [the trackside] display, however from the automotive you may’t go into element to see if all of the wheels are linked correctly!” Verstappen added. “In fact, the group has a bit extra of an outline to that, so we’ll look into that to see if there’s something we may have achieved completely different. However I additionally do not know when the precise name got here to pit, so it’s kind of tough to say for the time being.”
Horner additionally praised the efficiency of Perez, saying he had proven spectacular tempo earlier than the protection automotive after he handed Leclerc for second place and closed in on Verstappen within the lead.
“Checo handed Leclerc and he closed the hole right down to Max,” Horner stated. “Sure, he bought fortunate via a security automotive, however as I stated earlier, he then needed to get on and ship.
“You’ve got bought Max Verstappen behind you, he is not taking it straightforward. He was capable of construct up I believe a 3.7 second lead at one level. And all credit score to Checo, drove an awesome race at this time.”