Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said Max Verstappen was embarrassed by his crash on the way to the grid at the Hungarian Grand Prix, but repaid his mechanics with his race performance.
Verstappen slid off the track on the reconnaissance laps and damaged his front left suspension against the barrier, and also broke his front wing. After limping to the grid, Verstappen was able to take the start after his mechanics performed a stunning repair job that was completed with less than 30 seconds to spare, and Horner said the following drive to second place paid his car crew back.
“I think Max went off three times on that lap to the grid,” Horner said. “The third one looked pretty terminal, so we could immediately see the track rod and the push rod was broken, the big question was had it done the wishbone as well? If it had done the wishbone, that would have been game over. We decided to drive the car to the grid and do our best to repair the car on the grid.
“The mechanics did an unbelievable job. What would usually take an hour and a half they did in 20 minutes, and with about 25 seconds to go. Full credit to them, because without them that result wouldn’t have been possible.
“Always at the back of your mind when you have a thump like that… it’s quite concerning to think what about the components you haven’t been able to see? Max was able to put it out of his mind, and was obviously a bit embarrassed on the grid having caused that amount of work, but he repaid them in the best possible way by putting in the drive that he did.”
Horner said Red Bull took every possible precaution to ensure that Verstappen’s car was safe to race, but admitted he was still impressed by how well the car performed despite the last-minute work.
“Some of (the camber and toe) is pre-set but obviously it had a hell of a knock, so it’s not ideal,” he said. “Is it safe? We x-rayed the components on the grid and that came back fine, so it was a question of, ‘OK, it’s not going to be ideal, but get on with it’. Max didn’t report any issues at all with the car pulling to one side or anything like that.
“The guys came back, got themselves composed and did a sub two-second pit stop again. They have been phenomenal this weekend and he owes this result to them. He paid them back in the best possible way, but this result is so much down to the work on the grid and in the garage this weekend.”