Max Verstappen endured another disappointing race result for the second time in a row on the Silvestone circuit. However, unlike his DNF in the 2021 race, the Red Bull driver managed to maximize points with a seventh-place finish.
The beginning of the race looked promising for Verstappen who had a better start than pole sitter Carlos Sainz. The Dutchman was on a different strategy with a set of soft tyres and overtook Sainz who struggled to fight back on his set of mediums.
However, Verstappen wasn’t able to lead a full lap of the race before a chaotic crash in the midfield involving George Russell, Pierre Gasly and Zhou Guanyu occurred, which was followed by a separate incident with Sebastian Vettel, Esteban Ocon, Yuki Tsunoda, and Alex Albon caused a red flag.
After the race, Verstappen was asked about his mindset in response to the red flag that interrupted the momentum, he gained from leading the race, the 24-year-old discussed the benefits of the halo.
“Well, you know, when the red flag comes out, there could be something like rsomething bad happened. And I'm happy that I think they're relatively okay. Maybe only Alex (Albon)...Yeah, so I hope he’s alright. But I think today showed again that the halo is a massive improvement for safety because I think without it, I think Zhou (Guanyu) would have been in a different state. So yeah, luckily, everyone is quite okay,” Verstappen said.
When Verstappen lost out to Sainz on the restart, his race later took a turn for the worse on Lap 12 when he ran over a piece of carbon on the track which caused irreparable damage on the floor of his RB18.
The Dutch driver explained what happened to his RB18 that cost him his seventh win of the season.
“Yeah, I mean, I didn't ask (the team) if how much I lost, but I already spoke to Carlos. He said what happened like 'you were just losing parts' when I was in the lead,” he said.
“And when I jumped out of the car, I had a look under the floor. And the whole left hand side underneath is completely like ruptured... like everything was gone.
"Once I got into the lead after the Carlos made the mistake, like a few corners later, in turn five, there was a piece of carbon, but by the time I was there, and it was on the racing line, I could not aggressively move left or right. So I tried to just hit it head on.
"But instead, it just went into my floor and it just destroyed everything. It felt like a puncture because suddenly I had no balance, a lot of oversteer and the car was was hoping a lot. So then, of course, we decided to box and yeah, even after that, of course the car was just really a handful to drive.
"And then the tough bit was just to try and find a nice aero balance because of the massive loss of mainly rear load, to try and back up the front wing. But of course, when you do that you lose overall load as well. So that wasn't ideal on the hard tyres.
"And then for the last set, we went up again to try and get a bit more performance in low speed. But yeah, it was very, very tough. But at the end, I think the seventh place was good with the damage I had.”
Damage limitation aside, Verstappen said the car “was really good” and "I never gave up"
“Yeah, the car was really good. This is good. I was literally managing behind him and then I saw he was struggling, so I just pushed up a little bit. Once I got a lead, I was like 'alright, that's it. Let's go'. We can do our race and then within a few corners I had the damage.
“Yeah, I mean, of course, I hope for more but you know, when you are.... it's just really unlucky, to be honest what happened today. I just, you know, I never give up, I just tried to do the best I could and still of course trying to score points.”
Despite an unlucky seventh place result, Verstappen continues to lead the driver standings ahead of his teammate Sergio Perez by 34 points and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc by 41 points. Never the less, the Dutch driver was indifferent when asked if he was happy that it was Sainz who won the race instead of Leclerc.
“You know, I don't really look at that. It's just about trying to score the best points I could today with the damage I had. I just hope for a bit more luck next weekend,” he said.
“Yeah, I think it's been quite a wait for him (Carlos Sainz). And you know, the first one is obviously a very emotional one. And I hope he enjoys it.”