Why Max Verstappen Didn’t Join Hamilton and Bottas for Post Race Donuts

Published 12/18/2020, 6:12 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Race winner Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during the press conference after the race FIA/Handout via REUTERS


Mercedes‘ domination carries on. Although Max Verstappen beat them at Abu Dhabi, they had already established a winning record. With the new era of motorsports starting from 2021, FIA promises to infuse back the spirit of competition in F1. However, it may not yet be the end of the German team’s domination just yet.

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Mercedes is a team that works hard, day in day out. They do not believe in the aura of champions that drags out the element of tireless effort from a team. They treat each race as their first, and always have the inspiration to win.

The fabric of the team held together by Toto Wolff and every member is commendable.

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The Abu Dhabi weekend was more or less dominated by Red Bull. However, they would have been better off if they found their form earlier. With Mercedes already the champions, Red Bull could only challenge them for the podium. Well, they did and concluded the season on a strong note.

As it was the last race for the W11s, Bottas and Hamilton took the car for one last spin, literally. Both of them did donuts at the grid for almost 30 seconds, before climbing out of their cars to congratulate each other.

Well, amidst all that celebration, the victor, Verstappen, did not participate in the action.

Mercedes’ Chief Strategist, James Vowles, inquired into the matter and the reason from Red Bull was silly. “I think that was just a communication error. They had forgotten about it and Verstappen, therefore, didn’t make his way to the grid,” clarified Vowles.

Gearbox danger may hint why Max Verstappen didn’t do donuts

Mercedes allotted Vowles the duty to answer the questions from the fans this week. Well, one question that many fans would have wanted answers to would be the burnout.

We will cherish the thrilling tire burning action at Yas Marina for a long time. However, does that harm the precious car?

Vowles answered the queries, saying, “It’s not brilliant. You are running the engine near enough on the limit as you are going around in the circles. The gearbox itself depends on how you release the power down.”

“If you progressively put the power through, it is okay. We have generally seen that we haven’t damaged the gearbox,” explained James.

That sounds consoling, right? Well, it was not so. He explained that given an ideal situation; it is never good for the F1 cars to be doing donuts and burnouts. The car’s very design forbids it. However, did the Mercedes drivers upset their engineers?

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“But it is not great for any of the setup. Clearly, our car is not designed to have the rear wheels spinning and rotating around in circles from 30 seconds to a minute. But that car also would be stripped down after the race,” concluded.

Well, that could be the reason Max Verstappen did not indulge in the post-race celebrations doing donuts with his RB-16. The car is anyway a bit tricky and then Max was never close to pomp and show.

He was content with the win and comes back next season with a challenge that Hamilton will keep an eye out for.

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Indrasish Ganguly

395 articles

Indrasish Ganguly is an F1 author at Essentially Sports. An avid fan of the F1 championship, the Kolkata based writer admires Lewis Hamilton the most on the F1 grid. His interest in racing stems from his love for cars and speed.

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