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Bird was entangled in Verstappen's F1 car for Canadian GP

Red Bull has revealed that the remains of the bird that Max Verstappen hit in the Canadian Grand Prix got entangled in his car for the entire Formula 1 race. 

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Verstappen radioed his team on lap 11 of the Montreal event to notify the pit wall that he had struck a bird, but the Dutchman’s car did not appear to suffer any major damage and he did not report any subsequent loss of performance on his way to a sixth win of 2023. 

But during post-race inspections when Verstappen's RB19 was returned to the garage, Red Bull found that the remains of the animal had got stuck in the area around the front right brake duct. 

Team boss Christian Horner said: “I think the biggest moment he had was hitting that bird, which just did half the race behind the front right brake duct.” 

Verstappen himself also revealed that he spotted the remains after he had climbed out of the car at the end. 

"It was still stuck on my car when I came in, it didn't look great!" he told Sky. "I also feel sorry for the mechanic having to remove it." 

Despite the minor drama caused by the bird, the biggest headache that Verstappen appeared to face on his way to matching Ayrton Senna's tally of 41 F1 wins was managing tyre temperatures, with all drivers finding it difficult to get the rubber into the prime operating window in the cool conditions. 

Horner added: “They just struggled to get temperature into the car, and it is hard generating the energy when there's only sort of six corners here and long straights. 

“You could see that the lap times were quite variable for all the drivers at certain points in time. 

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, on the podium

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, on the podium

Photo by: Jake Grant / Motorsport Images

“But Max was able to break the DRS and then pull out a healthy gap before the safety car. Then, after the safety car, he got 10 seconds as well. 

“This type of circuit is quite unique, so to have come through this challenge as well is really encouraging.” 

Verstappen himself said that the issue in the race was not about managing degradation, but more about getting the tyres to work well. 

“Normally it’s all about tyre management, right?” he said.

“But today was definitely more about pushing. Sometimes it was just going up and down a lot in lap time.  

“Sometimes you couldn't actually push to the limit, because you didn't know what you were going to get.

“So, for me, on the hard tyre, it was quite a bit of a struggle. And then, on the medium, I wanted to open up that gap a little bit more.  

“Then of course, at one point, you’re seeing 10-15 laps to go and you have a good gap, so you don’t want to take too many risks.

“It’s probably not flat-out pushing, but you cannot relax too much because then you lose the temperature in your tyres.” 

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