Verstappen: Throttle torque holes cost me time

Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen says he had to drive around a strange torque curve on his car following his pitstop at Yas Marina.

Max Verstappen finished P2 in Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, having overcome Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc on track. Leclerc had managed to pass Verstappen down the back straight on the first lap and had the initial edge on the Red Bull driver. But Leclerc pitted on Lap 12 for the Hard tyre as Ferrari embarked on an eventual two stop strategy. With Verstappen running to Lap 25 on the Hard tyre, his superior pace after that saw him quickly catch back up on the Ferrari driver.

On Lap 32, Verstappen pounced to pass Leclerc down the back straight but, despite his pace, was complaining over the radio about weird ‘torque holes’ on throttle application. He explained over the radio that there was a throttle delay before delivering power but, despite his complaints, was told to work with it as his crew were unable to fix the problem remotely.

In the end, Verstappen brought the car home in P2 and said afterwards he didn’t think the problem cost him the win as he finished almost seventeen seconds behind Lewis Hamilton at the chequered flag.

“I just had some torque holes on throttle.” Verstappen explained. “There were delays and stuff, so it was not great, and we couldn’t fix it, so we drove around the problem. When I went on throttle, it wasn’t doing what I wanted. It cost me lap-time, but it wouldn’t have given me the win. At the end of the day, it wouldn’t have made a difference in terms of the result.”

“I’m not sure yet what happened exactly, because they didn’t want to tell me on the radio, they just said there was nothing they could do from their side, so then it also doesn’t matter what it is, so I’ll have to find out.”

Speaking about the race in general, Verstappen said: “Little bit of a shame about the first lap but then I think we had a good first stint, to go long and yeah, I think once we then put the hard tyres on, the pace was decent. I could get by Charles and then I could just do my own race. I mean, Lewis was too quick, so I was just focussing on my own race and lap-times.”

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Thomas Maher

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