Red Bull team principal Christian Horner shared his thoughts regarding the incident which left Max Verstappen without pole for the Saudi Arabian GP.
The Red Bull driver crashed during the final moments of qualifying as he was setting a faster lap than that of Lewis Hamilton, who claimed the first spot on the grid for tomorrow’s race. This left the Dutchman in P3 behind Valtteri Bottas, who completed a Mercedes 1-2.
Horner commented on the incident, saying it’s a shame the “lap of the year” was ruined in the final moments.
“That was looking like the lap of the year, to be honest with you. It’s a great shame, he locked the front into the last corner. Tried to keep the momentum, he saw on his dash that he was 0.4 seconds up,” Horner told Sky Sports.
“Unfortunately, he ran out of road. Pretty brutal. Verstappen is frustrated I’m sure. He knows what a lap it was.
“He needs to put that behind him now and he’s still P3, so anything can happen in the race. He didn’t say too much, he said he touched the wall and that was that.
“It was a mighty mighty lap. We are on the backfoot here and that was pulling something special out of the bag.”
A status concerning Verstappen’s gearbox after the crash is yet to be given, and Horner hopes it isn’t damaged.
“Let’s hope the gearbox isn’t damaged and we’ll go again tomorrow,” he said. “Hopefully it’s not a gearbox penalty, until we get it back we don’t know.”
Talking about the race, Horner said: “I think it’s going to be hard to overtake. It’ll be [a combination of] strategy, safety cars and reliability. We’ll see. Grid position on any street circuit is crucial,” he concluded.