Red Bull: Slow Monza pitstop resulted from FIA clampdown

Red Bull Formula 1 chief Christian Horner has revealed the human error that caused Max Verstappen’s slow pitstop at Monza resulted from the FIA’s clampdown introduced at Spa.

Red Bull: Slow Monza pitstop resulted from FIA clampdown

The FIA informed teams at the end of June that it would be moving to slow down pitstops on safety grounds, removing some elements of automation.

It was a move that Horner said at the time would “dilute” the times achieved by teams in the pits, but the FIA brought the clampdown into force from the Belgian Grand Prix.

In last Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix, Red Bull - routinely the fastest team in the pits - struggled to complete its servicing of Verstappen in its usual sub-two second time due to an issue on the front-right wheel.

It resulted in an 11-second pitstop that dropped Verstappen back, eventually leaving him on the same bit of track as title rival Lewis Hamilton just moments before their collision.

Horner said after the race that the slow pitstop was an “uncharacteristic issue” that would need to be investigated, but has now revealed that it was a mistake that resulted from the FIA’s technical directive.

“There was a rare human error in our pitstop, as a result of the new technical directive but nonetheless something we need to learn from,” Horner wrote in his regular column for the Red Bull team’s website.

“That slow stop put Max out of synch from where he should’ve been on track. Mercedes compounded that situation as they faltered with their own stop on Hamilton's car, which meant both drivers were neck and neck.

“Both drivers knew they needed to be ahead because of the difficulty to overtake. Max was keen to seize the momentum and Lewis was eager to retain track position.”

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B, and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, collide

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B, and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, collide

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images

Sochi penalty “not such a handicap”

Hamilton and Verstappen collided at the first chicane moments after Hamilton had exited the pits, with the crash ending both of their races.

Both drivers blamed each other for the incident, but the stewards ruled that Verstappen was predominantly to blame, resulting in a three-place grid penalty for the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi.

Horner’s immediate reaction to the crash was that both drivers could have given each other more space, and he was unchanged in his opinion, feeling the FIA could have made a stronger statement by penalising both drivers.

“I still share the same belief today: both played a part in it and it is difficult to apportion blame to one side more than the other,” Horner said.

“If the FIA wanted to make a statement, they could’ve imposed the same penalty on both drivers but the fault was deemed to be more on Max's side and, because he didn’t finish the race, the only option was to give him a grid penalty, which we accept.”

Horner added that taking the penalty in Sochi would be “not such a handicap” for Verstappen thanks to the long run to the first braking point, but was braced for Mercedes to be strong again.

“I was looking through the results at the Russian Grand Prix and back in 2018, Max went from last to first before needing to make his pitstop,” Horner said.

“We were second there last year but it’s a circuit we have never won at. It has been a Mercedes stronghold.

“For me, Monza and Sochi, I’ve them marked down mentally as Mercedes circuits so it will be a challenge.”

shares
comments

Related video

Alonso: Alpine "best team" in the midfield without fastest car
Previous article

Alonso: Alpine "best team" in the midfield without fastest car

Next article

Hamilton saved by science not luck in Monza crash, says halo university director

Hamilton saved by science not luck in Monza crash, says halo university director
Load comments
How Ferrari gained a new edge over McLaren in the best-of-the-rest F1 2021 battle Plus

How Ferrari gained a new edge over McLaren in the best-of-the-rest F1 2021 battle

Supremacy in the McLaren vs Ferrari fight over third place in the constructors’ championship has ebbed and flowed between the two teams so far in the 2021 Formula 1 season. But for several key reasons, right now it seems the advantage has swung decisively back to the Scuderia and McLaren knows it.

The 70s US superteam that tried and failed to crack F1 Plus

The 70s US superteam that tried and failed to crack F1

Vel’s Parnelli Jones Racing was briefly one of the biggest names on the US motorsports scene, but its ambition outstripped its resources. STUART CODLING relates the story of a Formula 1 campaign cut off in its prime

Formula 1
Oct 26, 2021
The key details that boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory Plus

The key details that boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory

As the 2021 Formula 1 title battle winds towards its climax, the United States GP added another thrilling act in the Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen battle. Although Hamilton aced the start, Verstappen and Red Bull took the initiative with strategy and were richly rewarded, despite Mercedes' best efforts as the race went down to the wire

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
US Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a baking hot afternoon at the returning Circuit of the Americas, Formula 1 drivers were tested to their limits. As the pressure on the title contending squads reaches an ever-greater level of intensity, the foremost challengers again showed their class, but were outshone by a standout drive from the upper midfield

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement Plus

Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man ANTHONY PEACOCK explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it)

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Plus

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material Plus

Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull Plus

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be another close contest

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021