Red Bull confirm Verstappen’s Turkish GP was hampered by front wing setting mistake
Max Verstappen had a scrappy Turkish Grand Prix and finished sixth despite the Red Bull appearing to have the pace for victory early in the race. But it has emerged the handling of the Dutchman’s RB16 was negatively impacted by a front wing adjustment mistake by the team.
After a sluggish getaway from second on the grid that saw Verstappen swallowed up by several cars, the Red Bull driver battled back to fight Sergio Perez for a podium position, only to lose the car when chasing the Racing Point, spinning and flat-spotting his tyres.
That forced an immediate pit stop for fresh intermediates and on returning to the track, he was unable to demonstrate the same pace he'd had before the stop.
Verstappen crossed the line sixth, ahead of team mate Alex Albon, to bring to an end his run of standing on the podium in every 2020 race where he’d seen the chequered flag.
But now Red Bull have confirmed to Formula1.com that it emerged after the race that they made a mistake with a front wing adjustment. On one side of the wing they were seven degrees of turn short, creating an aerodynamic imbalance.
For context, teams usually make an adjustment of a single degree upwards or downwards. Such a dramatic swing of seven degrees, and on just one side, would have a big impact on the handling of the car.
Even before that issue had come to light, Verstappen said his Turkish Grand Prix was a race "to forget".
“Yeah it’s just very frustrating, to be honest,” he said after the race. “I tried to follow Checo [Perez] through that kink, and then suddenly I just massively washed out, you get onto the green bit – big spin – trying to keep it out of the wall. Of course, I flat spotted the tyres.
“Around here there’s only one line in the dry and in the wet so you have to follow them exactly. It’s just driving in a train to be honest. It was just a very annoying, frustrating race – it was definitely one to forget,” he added.
Verstappen is currently third in the drivers’ championship, 27 points adrift of Valtteri Bottas in second but 70 clear of Perez with three races to go.