British Grand Prix – Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen had his race ended due to technical trouble related to the brake-by-wire system.
Verstappen headed to Silverstone on a high after holding off the Ferraris to win in Austria last weekend. With Silverstone mostly consisting of straights and high speed sweeps, Red Bull feared they would be less competitive than they have been at recent events. This roughly played out throughout the entire British weekend; Red Bull were just about able to hang onto the coattails of Mercedes & Ferrari, while being well clear of anyone else.
Verstappen clearly had the upper hand over Daniel Ricciardo throughout the weekend, too. Outqualifying the Australian to claim P5, Verstappen capitalised on the Lap 1 clash between Lewis Hamilton & Kimi Raikkonen to run P3 for the opening half of the race. Still ahead of the pair after the pitstops, Verstappen was fending off Raikkonen when the Safety Car came out to cover Marcus Ericsson’s crash. This also allowed Hamilton to get back in touch with the Red Bull and, when Mercedes opted not to pit Lewis, cleared the way for Hamilton to get ahead. When the race resumed with ten laps to go, Verstappen was powerless to prevent Raikkonen from powering past him before spinning off as the effects of the system failure started to show.
Slowing to a crawl within sight of the chequered flag, Verstappen was told over the radio to pull over and retire the car along the Wellington Straight: “It’s not a nice way to finish the triple header but luckily last week was good and the two weeks before were also positive. That’s racing sometimes. I’ve had it many times before and for sure it will happen also in the future, but of course I wish I would have finished fifth or at least collected some points. Because now we have nothing.”
“It was quite weird, because on lap one I had a brake-by-wire issue, the pedal fell to the floor in Turn 3 but then it recovered and everything was going fine after that. Then after the second safety car I braked for Turn 16 and the pedal literally went to the floor, the rear brakes locked up and I spun off the track. We will now start to investigate what actually happened. Even without the brake issue we were just too slow on the straights to do anything today, you could see it even with Daniel when he was attacking Bottas; when we open the DRS we are the same speed as them without DRS, so you just cannot do anything.”
“I think so far this season I have actually been okay with the reliability of our car, so it’s just a shame that it happened here. When you know you have a difficult weekend, you of course want to take some points back home. But one positive aspect of the weekend is that I think we actually have a good car.”