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'Nothing broke on the car' - Verstappen left in the dark by tyre failure

'Nothing broke on the car' - Verstappen left in the dark by tyre failure

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'Nothing broke on the car' - Verstappen left in the dark by tyre failure

'Nothing broke on the car' - Verstappen left in the dark by tyre failure

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen has said the exact cause of his race-ending tyre-failure at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix is unknown as he revealed there was "nothing broken on the car".

Verstappen was splitting the two Mercedes' at Imola, having passed Valtteri Bottas on lap 43 and started his attempt to hunt down eventual race winner Lewis Hamilton.

However, as Verstappen's right-rear tyre suffered a dramatic delamination at high-speed on lap 51, sending the Dutchman careering into the gravel trap at Villeneuve chicane.

Although it is clear his retirement - his third at an Italian venue this season - was down to an instantaneous tyre failure, Verstappen conceded the cause of which was as yet undiscovered.

"Suddenly on the straight, I lost the car because there was a tyre blowout," he told Sky Sports F1.

"I don’t know exactly what happened but I quickly looked at the car, there was nothing broken on the car.

"It’s a big shame because it was a lot more fun as well. I was really pushing and trying to stay with them [Mercedes].

"It was a lot of fun out there so it was a shame, of course, to not be on the podium but not only be on the podium but also be second. So yeah, big shame."

Despite qualifying over half a second behind the Mercedes drivers in qualifying, Verstappen lived up to the expectation that the Red Bull's race pace could trouble the champions.

After passing Hamilton at the start of the race, Verstappen quickly caught up to Bottas, before continuing to trouble the Finn after both drivers had pitted for the hard compound of tyres.

Verstappen pointed to his strong pace as a reason to carry positives over for the remaining four races of the season.

"Start was good, I got Lewis," Verstappen added.

"Then I was trying to stay with Valtteri, we both pitted of course. I tried to do the undercut.

"Then I think he had damage on the floor so we were losing a lot of lap time. I couldn’t get close, this track is so hard to pass.

"Then, of course, Lewis jumped us, and then once in got past Valtteri, I think our pace was good, the car was feeling quite good."

Before you go...

Seven titles for Mercedes "something to tell my grandchildren one day" - Hamilton

No additional tattoo for Abiteboul despite Ricciardo's "bizarre" second Renault podium


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