WATCH: Engine Penalty Threat Looms as Max Verstappen Crashes Out of FP2 at Spa

Published 08/27/2021, 10:26 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Belgian Grand Prix – Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium – August 27, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during practice REUTERS/Christian Hartmann


Ever since the first practice session at Spa Francorchamps, Max Verstappen remained one of the brightest prospects into scoring a podium on Saturday. But, the way the Dutchman ended his second practice session may have complicated his advantage over Mercedes.

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With hardly 3 minutes left on the clock during FP2, yellow flags came out, leaving a huge question over the reason. Soon, the cameras turned their attention to turn 7, where the Red Bull of Verstappen found itself stranded near the barriers meters away from the exit of the corner.

Hence, with insufficient time left, the stewards called off the session by bringing out the red flags.

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What happened to Max Verstappen during FP2?

Verstappen was on a hot lap, and as always, looked quite solid around the corners. However, as he arrived around the tricky turn 7, the rear snapped, leaving his Red Bull spinning backward into the barriers. The car continued to stroll for a while, before coming to a complete standstill.

The spin had nothing to do with his previous corners, as Verstappen kept his car well within the limits, and the tires were warm enough. Hence, the only possible explanation is the wind factor that may have triggered his car to lose control.

Ah, it’s finished. Suddenly lost the rear,” a dejected Verstappen told his race engineer.

Is Verstappen likely to suffer grid penalty?

After what has been an expensive race at Silverstone and Hungaroring, coming into Spa, Red Bull would have hoped that their drivers kept the cars in one piece. But, to their woes, the misery struck in as early as FP2. What’s worse, it’s Verstappen, the title contender, who ended up in the barriers.

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The Dutchman is already into his 3rd power unit, coming into the Belgian Grand Prix. Hence, a grid penalty was always impending for Verstappen. Now, the crash at Spa may have worsened Red Bull’s situation.

Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 17, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen before sprint qualifying Pool via REUTERS/Lars Baron

It was a hefty collision for Verstappen, and the major concern is that most of the contact happened around the back of the car. There is visible suspension damage to the rear-left, and the engine may have taken a significant blow as well.

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Following the crash, a concerned Verstappen was busy walking around the car, checking for damages. Up until the car arrives in the garage, it is going to be an intense period of time for the entire Red Bull outfit. So, how far is this crash going to cost the Dutchman and his championship hopes?

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Rohit Kumar

1150 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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