Emilia Romagna GP: Verstappen puncture caused by debris

Max Verstappen suffered a puncture during the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix which ended up losing him a podium and second place finish.

Verstappen had managed to secure a good start in Italy, immediately passing championship-leader, Lewis Hamilton on the first lap.

He then went on to chase Mercedes driver, Valtteri Bottas, managing to stay with him until they both headed into the pits. After their stops, the Dutchman was able to overtake Bottas due to floor damage he had sustained after running over a huge piece of debris on lap two.

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After he overtook the Mercedes, he exhibited good pace and went on to have a quiet remainder of the race, that was until he suffered a puncture which forced him off the track and into the gravel, sparking a safety car.

Going from what was a guaranteed second place to a DNF and zero points, Verstappen was obviously disappointed when speaking to Sky F1 after the race: “The start was good, I got Lewis, then I was trying to stay with Valtteri.

“We both pitted, I tried to do the undercut. Then he had damage on the floor so we were losing a lot of lap time and I couldn’t get close as this track is so hard to pass at.

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“Then Lewis jumped us and once I got past Valtteri the pace was good and the car was feeling quite good and suddenly on the straight I lost the car because there was a tyre blow-out.

“I don’t know exactly what happened, when I looked at the car there was nothing broken on the car so I don’t know. It’s a big shame.

“It was a lot more fun as well, I was really pushing and trying to stay with them. So it’s a shame to not be on that podium and also not be second.”

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Red Bull Team Principal, Christian Horner said he believed Verstappen “picked up some kind of debris or something because he was on the radio to his race engineer at the time and boom, the tyre suddenly went, so it suggests it’s something that’s just caused a total instantaneous puncture.

“Very, very frustrating, particularly after he managed to pass Valtteri and it felt like today we had pretty decent pace so annoying not to get that P2 today.”

The lack of points secured today means that it is now impossible for Verstappen to win the drivers’ championship in 2020.