MAX VERSTAPPEN salvaged points from the British Grand Prix despite suffering severe damage.
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Helmut Marko has claimed Max Verstappen made a critical “mistake” at the British Grand Prix which almost saw him retire from the race. The Dutchman was leading the Grand Prix before suddenly slowing after picking up what he believed to be a puncture.
Verstappen immediately peeled off into the pits, dropping down the field as the team switched to hard tyres. It was later revealed the damage had been done to the Red Bull’s floor after Verstappen picked up a piece of debris from an Alpha Tauri.
However, Marko has hit back at the Dutchman for “screwing up” his set of medium tyres in his anger. Speaking to Austrian channel ServusTV, the Red Bull chief said the tyre set could “no longer be used” which forced Verstappen onto a different set of rubber.
He explained: “Verstappen drove into the pitlane so fast and angry that he screwed up his good set of medium tyres when he put on the brakes when entering the pitlane. As a result, that set could no longer be used. That was a mistake made by Verstappen, but in the situation it was understandable.”
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Helmut Marko warns Verstappen made a crucial error at Silverstone (Image: Getty)
Verstappen managed to finish seventh, picking up a handful of points despite the issues to his car. However, the Dutchman took advantage of Charles Leclerc dropping from the lead to fourth in the closing stages.
His nearest title rival Sergio Perez was only second meaning he only lost 12 points in the title fight. Despite the positive result, Marko admitted the team had considered retiring the reigning champion from the race as the issues were beginning to “worsen”.
He told ServusTV: “On the hard tyre, the problems were even worse because Max thought he had no downforce at the front either. We considered bringing Verstappen in and stopping to save the engine. However, so long as we were in the points, we decided not to, so we continued.
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Helmut Marko said Verstappen destroying his tyres was wrong (Image: Getty)
“The temperatures of certain parts did rise, but luckily when we switched to the soft tyre it got better.” Red Bull team principal Christian Horner defended Verdstappen claiming he had to complete the race with a “modified floor”
He said: “He’s then had to do the entire race with a modified floor, complete with a piece of AlphaTauri endplate stuck under the bottom of the car. It stayed in that spot until the end. It wedged itself there, almost like a blockage. So a fairly heavily modified floor for the rest of the race for him as he lost an enormous amount of downforce.”