WATCH: How Red Bull F1 Mechanics Saved Max Verstappen’s Race in Hungary

Published 01/16/2021, 4:50 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during the race Pool via REUTERS/Giuseppe Cacace

Red Bull F1 has undoubtedly got the best mechanics and pit crew on the grid at the moment. Time and again, the Red Bull crew put their talent on display with lightning fast pit stops that often leave both fans and commentators amazed. However, at the Hungarian Grand Prix of 2020, they kicked things up a notch.


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The race started in wet conditions with Red Bull ace Max Verstappen going out on track on the intermediate tires. He was starting the race in rather unfamiliar conditions, all the way back in P7. As if that was not bad enough, things soon took a turn for the worse.

As Verstappen made his way to the grid, he crashed his RB16 into the barriers. The race was due to start in a little over 20 mins and Verstappen’s car had already taken a beating, with its suspension ruined.


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Formula One F1 – Sakhir Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates after qualifying in third position Pool via REUTERS/Tolga Bozoglu

Red Bull fans would have had their heart in their mouths.

Would Max not even be able to race?

They’d need nothing short of a miracle to see the Dutchman take off at the Hungaroring. And that’s exactly what the Red Bull mechanics treated them to.

F1’s official YouTube page recently dropped a video showcasing the intense moments in the Red Bull pits and out on track as the mechanics scrambled to get Max’s car ready for the race in less than 20 minutes.

Drama galore as Red Bull crew produces a miracle to save Verstappen’s race

The video showcases exactly how the situation unfolded.

Verstappen goes into the wall, and suddenly, all hell breaks loose. However, the team’s top men, such as Christian Horner (team boss), Jonathan Wheatley (sporting director), Gianpiero Lambiase (Max’s race engineer), and Rich Wolverson (car engineer) handle the situation with a cool head.

They diagnose the problems and come up with a plan to tackle the repairs. Taking a gamble, they agree on keeping Max on the track rather than bring him into the pits. By doing so, they take a pit lane start out of the equation.

Paul Monaghan (chief engineer – car engineering) and Hugh Bird (race engineer- car performance) come into the picture. They decide on the parts that need replacing and send their crew out to begin the repairs under the intense pressure of time.

Phil Turner (chief mechanic) and Lee Stevens (Max’s race mechanic) set out to command their teams into action. Amidst all that, they have the presence of mind to inform the FIA of the repairs as well.

Eventually, a new front nose, a push rod, a track rod, and a POU bracket are brought onto the track. As the mechanics attempt their jaw-dropping repair job, the anthems begin playing. 15 minutes left until lights out.

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 13, 2020 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates winning the race Pool via REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

As the clock ticks down, the team’s optimism increases. Around the nine-minute mark, the track rod is sorted. The push rod is close to reaching that same status, and the nose is also fixed. With five minutes to go, the tires are put back on.

And Max is ready to go.


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Verstappen repays mechanics with incredible podium

With the team putting up an incredible rescue act, all eyes moved to Max, and the Dutchman didn’t disappoint. He drove one heck of a race in challenging conditions and put his RB16 on the podium, securing second place and getting the team some very critical points.

After the race, he was quick to acknowledge the tremendous job done by the mechanics to round up a day that was nothing but a rollercoaster of emotions.


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The Red Bull mechanics were the heroes of the day. No one could debate that, and no one did.


Ronan Carvalho

1063 articles

Ronan Carvalho is senior F1 author for Essentiallysports. Ronan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from St. Xavier's College.