Verstappen’s FP2 stymied by water leak radiator damage

Monte Carlo, Monaco

Monaco Grand Prix – Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen missed out on most of FP2 after picking up radiator damage due to some errant debris.

The Dutch driver had been the only driver to keep the Mercedes drivers honest during the first practice session on Thursday morning, finishing less than a tenth of a second behind Lewis Hamilton. Heading into FP2, any question marks over whether he could continue to challenge the Mercs quickly faded as he ended up most of the session with damage picked up from hitting some debris.

He explained what happened: “In FP2 when everyone went onto a second set of tyres we had a water leak after some debris flew into the air box and damaged one of the radiators. We had to fix it which lost us some time on track but in general, we look alright and the pace was pretty good. I got enough laps in to feel confident with the car, we tried lots of set-up changes in both sessions and I’m happy with what we have.”

While Verstappen was able to get back out on track in the closing stages of FP2, he complained about the handling of the car as he slid all over the place. His race engineer told him that he was happy to bring him back to the pits if Max agreed, to which Verstappen replied “Oh, very happy!”

As a result of the loss of time, Verstappen could only finish FP2 with 17 laps on the board and down in P6. Despite that, he believed he’s still got a good chance of being able to fight for the podium: “Mercedes is still very strong and I don’t think we can fight them for pole, but there is a big gap between second and third which we should be able to fill in qualifying.”

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Thomas Maher

Co-owner, Chief Editor and a journalist for - Ireland's only accredited F1 & Formula E website.

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