Aston Martin Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen attributed his crash in qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix to a “150 horsepower power increase.”
During the first segment of qualifying at the Sakhir International Circuit, on his second flying lap, Verstappen lost the rear of his RB14 exiting turn two, and skated across the gravel, ending up in the wall at turn three, breaking the front-left suspension of the car.
Although his lap-time was enough to get him through to the second stage of qualifying, the damage was too severe, limiting the Dutchman to fifteenth on the grid.
Explaining the sudden loss of control, admitted he was very surprised with what happened.
“I was very surprised at what happened in Q1,” said Verstappen. “What we can see in the data is a sudden power increase, just like an on/off switch.
“It looks like roughly 150 horsepower was suddenly switched on during the corner (Turn 3), which of course is not easy to anticipate and this caught me out and meant I lost the rear and spun.
“The damage to the car was just the front left corner, so we don’t have any major concerns for tomorrow.”
Despite crashing out, Verstappen says that Red Bull ‘is looking very quick here’ and moving through the field could help to create ‘an exciting race.’
“I was disappointed to crash not just because it ruined Qualifying but also as the car is looking very quick here it has made the job tomorrow hard,” the twenty-year-old said.
“At least at this track you can overtake. My race pace looks good so if I can have a clean first stint and get past a lot of cars it could still be an exciting race.”
As he did not take part in the Q3, Verstappen has a free choice of Pirelli tyres on which to start the race.
“You always need a bit of luck so a safety car to bunch up the field would help and make the race open again,” he said. “We have a quick car so that is always good, let’s see what I can do tomorrow.”