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Midfield 'almost stood still' at the start - Verstappen

  • Published on 08 Sep 2019 22:00
  • comments 13
  • By: Harry Mattocks

Max Verstappen has said that the midfield drivers 'almost stood still' at the start which led to the Dutch driver damaging his front wing and cutting the fist chicane.

The Red Bull driver started at the back of the grid due to engine penalties, and could only recover to eighth place due to pitting at the end of lap 1.

"It was not even late braking, just following, following..." Verstappen told Autosport after the race.

"Suddenly everything almost stood still. I tried to avoid it but I still clipped Sergio, I think, on the rear wheel and I think the front wing was a bit down so we boxed."

He also lost ground when cars around him were able to bit under the virtual safety car. Usually, 22 seconds is lost due to a pitstop, but under the VSC that is cut down to around 15 seconds. Verstappen went onto call the rest of the race as 'odd'.

"We had good pace. I got through quite a lot of cars, but then I got stuck behind Sergio. They had such a high top speed, I had no chance to get by," Verstappen added.

"Then I was unlucky again with the virtual safety car, two or three cars overtook me in the pitstop because of that. The whole race everything was just against us and it just didn't work out.

"Sometimes starting at the back it works out brilliantly, like in Austin last year, but you can't expect it to be like that all the time of course."

He also reckons his Honda engine had the power to challenge the leaders, if he had the opportunity: "I could go with the guys in front. I could see them on the screen and I was following my progression," he said.

"I knew their lap times and I was not losing out. Of course when I got in traffic I lost time, but all the time when I was in free air they were not faster.

"So that's of course very promising on a track where you're normally not that competitive.

"Today was about surviving and trying to score a few points. We did that, but I'm now really looking forward to starting at the front again in Singapore because we've had our penalties and hopefully also our trouble and now we can just focus on performance."


Replies (13)

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  • Max mate, I am still unsure on whether you were shunted into Perez or not, but you are not helping your case with these kinda comments. If the field stood still, follow the flow. You had more to lose than the rest, and were lucky to get into the points despite that little race incident. I think most of us expect better than this from you by now. So go do better. And Honda, fix the calibrations, that engine did some weird stuff for both Albon and Verst this race in some sectors.

    • + 3
    • Sep 8 2019 - 22:04
    • Again, well said. Before the race I was going to ask if anyone wanted to take odds that he was going to crash, but I didn't want to piss of any of the fanatic fanboyz. There was even a betting line on him crashing again. Should of put a fiver on it.

      • + 0
      • Sep 8 2019 - 22:22
  • Please! Still think he's a great driver?! Sloppy, very sloppy and of course it's always somebody else or something else to blame. He's never going to be great if he doesn't own up to his mistakes and do better.

    • + 1
    • Sep 8 2019 - 22:20
    • Maxanado Crashtappen is his new nickname.

      • + 0
      • Sep 8 2019 - 22:24
    • Come on... Yes this was sloppy l, but other than the last two races Max has been brilliant. Arguably the best this year. I expect to see him back in form at Singapore. Should be a fun race.

      • + 1
      • Sep 8 2019 - 23:31
    • I'm really not a hater. I try to be objective when looking at all the drivers. Go back and look at the races earlier in the season. He consistently made contact with other drivers when it looked like he was going to be overtaken and even at times when there was no apparent reason. He's good and he's quick but he has only had 3 races where he hasn't made contact by my recollection(not always a correct recollection), hardly what I would call brilliant except perhaps in the last couple of races like you mention, but he hasn't really had much competition from his teammate. Most of his fans are so enamored by him that they don't look objectively at his performance. In my estimation he's one level above Jesus Christ in their eyes. It's kind of funny actually to see how worked up his fans get when it's pointed out that he isn't a refined driver. He probably has the most raw talent of anyone on the grid aside from Hamilton, and maybe LeClerc who reminded me a bit of Senna how he is able to squeeze a few extra 10ths out of thin air, but Ham learned from his mistakes much faster and continued to get better year after year. I was hoping after the last few races when he put in a good clean race that he was cleaning up his act, but now two weeks in a row incidents on lap 1. If it was any other driver they would be comparing him to Grosjean. He has the luxury of being in one of the best chassis on the grid so that makes him look better than he is. Why is it most of the other drivers can fight an overtake without hitting the guy next to them but he has to hit someone to get the advantage? I've been driving and racing for nearly 40 years so yeah, I think maybe I have a bit better eye for talented drivers than some of these guys who barely have a driving license. Just calling it as I see it, but everyone is entitled to their own opinions. As the song goes, "There ain't no good guy, there ain't no bad guy. There's only you and me and we just disagree." I want to root for him but I just can't yet. It took me a couple of years to warm up to Lewis as well but he has just gotten better and better. I can't really say that about Max. He looks to me to be just about as good as he was his first year or two. To his credit his aggressiveness has brought out more aggressiveness in other drivers and helped the stewards relax a bit on penalties like they did today, but like Hammy said now they all know what they can get away with so I predict more crashes from Max this season from guys who aren't going to back down. It's good for the racing and the show.

      • + 0
      • Sep 9 2019 - 05:20
    • I mean I am no fan of him, but I'd still say he is great. Reckless for sure, but still among the current top 5 with ease.

      • + 0
      • Sep 9 2019 - 05:59
  • Sparky1

    Posts: 8

    Can’t wait see the driver ratings this week. Last week Max got a 6.0 for crashing into Kimi then DNF. Kimi completes the race but got a N/A like Sainz.
    Max crashes but finished this race in points so that’s worthy of at least a 9.0 - 10.0

    • + 0
    • Sep 9 2019 - 01:23
    • boudy

      Posts: 1,159

      Haters will be haters.

      Me I thought Leclerc driving was rather dangerous.

      • + 0
      • Sep 9 2019 - 02:17
    • So true.
      Of course you did,
      but when Max was driving like that you were cheering not complaining.
      What is now acceptable has changed thanks to Max. That's a good thing.
      LeClerc got the black and white and heeded the warning. Go no penalty call.
      He made some bold moves but dangerous? Did he hit anyone? Did he cause a crash?
      Ham knew the door was closing and adjusted accordingly, he didn't try to force himself into a position that was not there like Max did last week.

      • + 1
      • Sep 9 2019 - 05:27
    • boudy

      Posts: 1,159

      Max got an penalty for cutting a corner in Italy previously, Leclerl didn't get one.

      • + 0
      • Sep 9 2019 - 11:41
  • f1ski

    Posts: 471

    calle couldn't agree more i said it last week the old maxis back. he had a0.071 sec brain fart and hit checo.
    the you are that far back the concertina effect is exaggerated . I am wondering if honda has to choose where to use battery for each driver to give max power and then runs out during the lap. to me that would explain a lot. The turbo lag because the battery can't spool the turbo and mysterious power drop due to algorithms calling for battery and its empty

    • + 0
    • Sep 9 2019 - 12:45
    • The mapping/options of mappings is the same such things generally don't tend to differ from driver to driver AFAIK (a lot of work and high costs for marginal gains, and A LOT could go wrong methinks), but from what I take it, the drivers can choose from various modes of how they want to deploy their ERS power. So my guess is that Max tend to run Max power consistently, or in a way that it then has to harvest power in suboptimal areas of the track. The Hondas generally tend to be more prone to harvest than the other cars, but Max in particular seem to be stricken of this more than the others.

      I could maybe see the turbo lag be due to your explanation, however they tend to limit the battery in a fashion that the drivers cannot deplete it to an absolute zero charge (this can damage the battery AND cause turbo lag, among other things), so it'd point to a pretty unconventional config. Dunno if it's good or bad, but it has at least not been an intentional function thus far in the hybrid era.

      • + 0
      • Sep 9 2019 - 20:02

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