Gearbox checks compromise Red Bull run time after Verstappen off

Red Bull Racing say their afternoon track time was slightly compromised during a race simulation after Max Verstappen had a minor gravel trap visit which necessitated gearbox checks.

Max Verstappen was at the wheel of the RB15 on Wednesday, and logged a total of 128 laps over the course of the day. His fastest time, a 1:18.395, was set on the C3 tyre.

However, that 128 lap total could have been considerably higher, as Verstappen was missing for a sizeable chunk of the afternoon. This was shortly after the Dutch driver spun his car at Turn 12, approaching the entry to the chicane. Ending up backwards in the gravel, he was able to extricate himself and get back to the pits. Despite it being a fairly minor moment, Red Bull say that the checks required of the car meant they lost out on some track time: “In the afternoon, we went into a scheduled race simulation.” said Guillaume Rocquelin, Head of Race Engineering.

“We managed two-thirds of that but after Max had a brief off, we pitted for some routine checks with the gearbox. It’s not the easiest element of the car to get deep into, so it kept us in the garage for a while. When we did get back out, the change in track conditions meant we weren’t going to learn that much so we focused on pit stop practice, which we had planned as part of the race work. Tomorrow, we’ll pursue the same plan, which is all about understanding the car and gaining valuable information.”

Verstappen wasn’t too fussed about the slight compromise to Red Bull’s day, and said the day was still a positive one: “Not a perfect day, but still a good one.”

“There are always things you want to check, instead of driving until something breaks. We did a routine check this afternoon and then got back out again at the end of the session. But even with the delay we had, we still managed to do over 120 laps, so I think it was still a very positive day. The more laps, the better and today we did a lot, so overall I’m happy.”

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Thomas Maher

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