Christian Horner Reveals Red Bull Rear Wing Fix for Max Verstappen Ahead of Qualifying

Published 10/23/2021, 8:16 PM EDT
Formula One F1 – United States Grand Prix – Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, U.S. – October 23, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during qualifying REUTERS/Mike Blake


Qualifying at the United States Grand Prix went right down to the wire, as Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen traded fastest lap times in Q3. Ultimately, the Dutchman secured pole, making Red Bull the only other team apart from Mercedes to take pole position at this track in the hybrid era.

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However, it wasn’t all plain sailing for the Austrian outfit today. Following the session, Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner revealed the team needed to fix an issue with Verstappen’s rear wing before qualifying.

Christian Horner reveals Red Bull found a crack in Verstappen’s rear wing

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Prior to Q1, cameras caught Red Bull mechanics working on Verstappen’s rear wing. This was because they found a small crack in it, which wasn’t seen not just on teammate Sergio Perez‘s car, but any other car in the paddock.

The mechanics of the Austrian outfit showcased their efficiency yet again, getting the Dutchman‘s car ready in time. After the session, Horner revealed Red Bull took the FIA’s permission to spruce up the rear wing. In addition, he mentioned the need to look closely into the cause of the issue later today.

He said“There is always something going on, there is never a stress-free session. But I don’t know whether Max hit something because there was quite a crack and nothing on the other car or on any of the other wings, so we got permission just to beef it up a bit on both cars, so we’ll have a close look at it tonight.”

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Horner lauds Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez

The 47-year-old heaped praise on the Dutchman and his Mexican teammate, saving more of it for Perez. Despite his struggles in qualifying this year, Perez qualified P3, which allows Red Bull to launch a two-pronged attack on Lewis Hamilton on Sunday.

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Formula One F1 – United States Grand Prix – Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, U.S. – October 23, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates after qualifying in pole position. REUTERS/Mike Blake

“Checo is on fire this weekend,” said Horner. “From pretty much the first session he has been pretty happy with the car. I thought he was going to get his first pole position. A little bit of rain at the end there, so being last on track maybe it cost him a little bit in the last sector.

“But again another massive performance by Max, keeping his head and delivering that lap time, so phenomenal. It’s the first time that we have got two cars against one.” 

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Tomorrow’s race in Austin looks likely to prove crucial to both championships. Can Verstappen extend his lead, while Red Bull reduce the gap on Mercedes? Or will Hamilton and the Silver Arrows fend off their title rivals to take top honors once again?

WATCH STORY: Verstappen Gives the Middle Finger to ‘Stupid’ Hamilton: Best Moments from F1 Practice Session at US GP

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Sanket Nair

876 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 & US Sports Author at EssentiallySports. He began following F1 since 2010, which made him an instant Sebastian Vettel fan. His favorite tracks on the calendar include Spa-Francorchamps, Monaco and Monza.

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