Max Verstappen explained how a quirk of Red Bull’s new Formula 1 front wing design contributed to the mis-tuning that derailed his Turkish Grand Prix hopes.
The Dutchman had been one of the pre-race favorites in Istanbul after dominating practice and securing a place on the front row of the grid.
But after resisting a poor start to compete for the win, it all went wrong at a pit stop as the wing changes before he requested didn’t go as planned.
By adjusting the front fender to better balance the car, one side of the flaps ended up tilted differently seven degrees from the other, meaning the car was unstable and didn’t behave consistently.
Reflecting on how it turned out, Verstappen said that a new front fin he had used in Turkey had a different way of being modified – the tool that changed the angle to be turned in the direction opposite to the previous design.
Somehow, while at a standstill, one of the mechanics turned the wing tool the old fashioned way, meaning the wing went completely out of balance.
“It was bad communication,” Verstappen explained. “Before the race we were told what to do because it was turning the other way around from all the other kites because it was news. And during the race something went wrong explaining that, I think.”
In order to ensure that there is no risk of a recurring problem, Red Bull revised the wing for this weekend so that the adjustments are made in the same way as before.
“That won’t happen again, of course, because now the wings are working the same again and they all turn the same,” added Verstappen.
“But [in Turkey] we only had one new front wing which I thought would be better this weekend so wanted to use it for the rest of the weekend. Only this wing has turned in the other direction. So I think something went wrong adjusting it. “
The new Red Bull front wing featured a revised main plane and flap layout at the inner end. Rather than the main plane being split into two slender segments, with the third flap also mated to the rear, it only featured a single, much deeper segment. It also worked in conjunction with a new nose cap design.
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