Floor damage hampers Verstappen in Friday practice

Image by Getty Images for Red Bull

Floor damage hampers Verstappen in Friday practice

Formula 1

Floor damage hampers Verstappen in Friday practice


Max Verstappen’s running during the second practice session of the Austrian Grand Prix was hampered by floor damage on his Red Bull.

Having been third quickest in the opening practice session behind the two Mercedes drivers, Verstappen dropped to fifth in FP2 as he posted a slower time than both Sebastian Vettel and teammate Daniel Ricciardo. Explaining the slight drop-off in performance, Verstappen said he couldn’t show his true pace due to damage to his car that needed a quick fix.

“I don’t think it was a perfect day as we had a damaged floor, something broke off the inside of the floor,” Verstappen said. “So my second practice session I had to run with a floor that was a little bit cut or modified, let’s say that.

“It is not from the outside sausage curb; it is on the inside so I guess it is from the vibrations or whatever. It was an old floor so we will put on a new one tomorrow, but today we had to be a bit limited on that which definitely compromised the downforce of my car.

“I think in general it was not the best day but there is still room for improvement. We know that we lose quite a bit of time on the straights and even though there is a third DRS zone it is still a bit too much. Still some work.”

Elaborating on other areas where he expects to find improvements on Saturday, Verstappen says the floor issue was not the only weakness during practice.

“I’m also not happy with [the balance] yet. We need to work on that. It was not the balance we wanted and we are chasing the balance a bit but we never really found the sweet spot yet. Work to do tonight.”

The severe exit curbs were referenced by many drivers on Friday, with Pierre Gasly damaging his suspension after running wide at Turn 9. However, Verstappen says the punishment is known by all the drivers and likens it to racing on a street circuit.

Asked how the curbs are, Verstappen added: “Same as last year and the year before.

“We did pick up a little bit of damage but I think everyone had some damage. It is just the way it is and I don’t think they will change anything so you have to deal with it. If it was a wall you would hit a wall.”

–Chris Medland