Max Verstappen is one of those drivers whose Formula 1 career has gone surprisingly smoothly. The two-time world champion wasn’t completely free of mistakes either. One of these mistakes was particularly memorable for the Dutchman.
Pretty much every Formula 1 driver experiences an embarrassing moment in the course of their career. Sometimes it’s an accident without necessity, sometimes a botched start and sometimes – as in the case of Max Verstappen – a completely failed pit stop that shouldn’t even exist. This mishap happened to the Dutchman at the US Grand Prix in 2016.
He can remember this moment “exactly”, he said to the “Motorsport.com” question, what was his most embarrassing moment in the premier class. “I was fifth or so,” the Dutchman looked back: “And my engineer said ‘push, push’. Then you assume that you will come to the pits on this lap. That’s why I accelerated. “
In the last fast corners he thought things were going well for him. “And then I drove into the pit lane. I pulled into the driveway and suddenly realized that I wasn’t called to the pits at all. They never told me to stop. At that moment I was like, oh God, what am I doing here?!” the Red Bull driver recalled.
“I said on the radio: Guys, I’m in the pit lane, I’m coming in, I’m coming in. And at that moment I saw the mechanics running out with the tires. The stop then naturally lasted eight or ten seconds, which was still very fast”, Verstappen described his view of things.
Verstappen apologizes for embarrassing mistake
In a way, the unplanned stop had no repercussions for the Dutchman, as just a few laps later he had to park his car with a defect. Whether the defect would not have occurred without a stop can only be speculated.
After the race, Verstappen went straight to the report. The then 19-year-old apologized to Helmut Marko for his mistake.
“I told him I screwed up. Very simple. And he appreciates it when you honestly admit a mistake. He hates it when people start looking for excuses,” said Verstappen about the conversation with him Advisor who couldn’t be mad at the youngster for long. In the last three races of the 2016 season, the Dutchman immediately made up for his mistake and finished third and two fourth places.