No regret at Red Bull for pitting Verstappen after finding 'lacerations' in tyre

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Red Bull had no regrets over pitting Max Verstappen despite missing out on a freak victory at the British Grand Prix.

After a largely processional race, which had seen the Dutchman in third throughout, there was very late drama when both Mercedes' picked up punctures in the closing laps.

First, it was Valtteri Bottas' tyre that let go with three laps to go and then Lewis Hamilton had his own on the final tour, but it was the decision to pit following the Finn's initial failure that ultimately saw Verstappen come up short of catching the wounded world champion.

"It is lucky and unlucky, they were once again too quick," Max said of the possible missed victory post-race.


"At one point the tyres didn't look great with 10 laps to go and I was on the radio to the team saying 'the right front doesn't look too pretty'.

"Then, of course, Valtteri got a puncture so I came onto the radio: ‘I am going to back off’, then they boxed me to go for the fastest lap and then Lewis got a puncture himself, but I'm very happy with second. It's a very good result for us again.

"I told my engineer to drink, to stay hydrated, it is very important around here. It was pretty lonely, I was just trying to manage my pace and look after the tyres."

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Red Bull boss Christian Horner then explained how at-risk Verstappen was of his own puncture, by revealing the damage found on the same tyre that deflated on both Mercedes'.

"Max was getting really worried about the vibration and we could see he had a big groove on our tyre, so we elected to pit and put the soft on to bag the point for the fastest lap," he told Sky Sports.

"The tyre that's come off Max's car has got quite a deep groove in it and a lot of lacerations, so while it feels we might have missed out a bit with Lewis’s luck at the end there, if we had of stayed out there’s no guarantee we would have got round the lap without picking up a puncture."

Horner then speculated on the possible cause of the punctures, with Carlos Sainz the third driver to suffer one on his McLaren in the closing laps.


"I think you could see the tyres starting to pick up some blistering and I think, once they get exposed, any debris on the track can puncture the tyre quite easily, so once you get that band you are quite vulnerable," the Briton told Channel 4.

“There were a few incidents today, maybe a bit of debris out on track, but there were three or four cars I think that had the punctures at the end there."