Analysis: What is the effect of Verstappen's crash on the title race?

19-07-2021 17:17
F1 News
Analysis: What is the effect of Verstappen's crash on the title race?

Max Verstappen was in a winning mood when he started the race at Silverstone. The Dutch driver had won the Grands Prix of France, Styria and Austria, giving his rivals Mercedes a run for their money. The race in Britain, however, turned the world championship upside down.

The crash between Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton has been brewing for weeks. While the Red Bull driver seems to have a good chance of winning the world title this season, Hamilton isn't going to give up easily. The seven-time world champion went into battle with Verstappen, which ended in a big collision with his opponent. It was not only a dangerous situation for Verstappen, there were also concerns about his car. The damage could have a significant effect on the remainder of the season.

Damage to Verstappen's car

At first glance, there was very little structure left of Verstappen's car. Because Verstappen reached a very high speed during the crash, he hit the wall hard. The coming days will tell what the problems are for the driver. A blessing in disguise for Red Bull is that they don't have to be on the track this weekend, which gives them time to find out what the problems are.

However, Red Bull must fear damage that could cost them dearly. We saw this with George Russell and Valtteri Bottas going off the track together in Imola this season. At the time, the Finn's Mercedes was badly damaged and the German team had to pay €1.15 million to fix the problem. The result was that Mercedes had to hold back on updates.

Fear of budget cap

Verstappen announced last month that he and Red Bull were expecting a few more updates this season, with which the Austrians hoped to increase their chances of winning the world title. However, if Verstappen's car has suffered major damage and Red Bull has to pay to fix it, it remains to be seen whether these updates can be carried out as the team cannot take the risk of getting into trouble with the budget cap. There seems to be less fear for the engine though, and Red Bull has only replaced the engine once this season, in France.

The frontrunner in the world championship will have to rely on the words of Toyoharu Tanabe. The Honda Racing technical director told the press after the British GP that the damage doesn't seem to be too bad at first sight. However, Red Bull's car will not be completely untouched, so Verstappen will have to hope that the race at Silverstone is not the turning point in his season, but instead another starting point for a great title fight with his big rival.

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