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Verstappen: Debris damage at Silverstone “really unlucky”

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 03: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB18 on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone on July 03, 2022 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool.

Max Verstappen is delighted with the P7 result at Silverstone given the damage his car has received during the race.

Verstappen had a difficult race at Silverstone. The Dutchman capitalized on Carlos Sainz’s mistake in the opening stages and took over the lead, but several laps later went to the pits due to a suspected puncture.

However, it turned out that Verstappen’s car sustained bodywork damage after he had run over debris from the collision between Yuki Tsunoda and Pierre Gasly. The Dutchman still had issues with his car and was losing pace. In the end, he finished the race 7th.

“Of course I hope for more, but it’s just really unlucky what happened today [on Sunday]. I just never give up and just tried to do the best I could and still tried to score points,” Verstappen commented.

“I didn’t ask yet how much I lost.

“I already spoke to Carlos and he said ‘what happened? You were just losing parts’ when I was in the lead. When I jumped out of the car, I had a look under the floor and the whole left hand side underneath is completely ruptured. Like everything is gone.”

Verstappen explained that that debris was on the racing line, so it was impossible to avoid it.

“Once I got into the lead, after Carlos made the mistake, a few corners later in turn 5 there was a piece of carbon, but by the time I was there it was on the racing line – I could not drastically move left or right.

“I tried to just hit it head on, but instead it just went into my floor and it just destroyed everything. It felt like a puncture, because suddenly I had no balance, a lot of oversteer and the car was hopping a lot.

“We decided to box and even after that the car was just a handful to drive. Then the tough bit was just to try and find a nice aero balance – because it caused a massive loss of mainly rear load – to try and back off the front wing. But, of course, when you do that, you just overload as well, so that wasn’t ideal on the hard tire set. So for the last set, we went up again to try and give a bit more performance in low speed. It was very, very tough. But, at the end, I think seventh place was a good result with the damage I had.”

Verstappen fought with Mick Schumacher for P7 on the final laps. The Red Bull Racing driver seemed to have pushed his opponent from the track. Though the stewards noted the episode, they decided not to investigate it.

“It was a good, hard, but fair battle, I think,” Verstappen reflected on the fight.

“I knew Mick was going to give it all to go for seventh, but it was all right. It was a bit of a struggle for me to hang in there, but luckily it worked out.”

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