Max Verstappen leaves Dutch Grand Prix fans in ‘silence’ after issue

Max Verstappen makes subtle dig at Lewis Hamilton in April

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Max Verstappen left his Dutch Grand Prix fans in “stunned silence” after his Red Bull stopped on track in a plume of smoke. The championship leader slowed on the run up to turn four less than ten minutes into the first practice session. 

Sky Sports host Karun Chandhok revealed the crowd were left “stunned” after they saw their hero walk away from his car at his Grand Prix. The Dutchman confirmed the issue was gearbox related over team radio moments after his car stopped. 

Ted Kravitz warned the issue could lead to “consequences” for the rest of Verstappen’s weekend. However, he later stressed the issue was a practice gearbox meaning he would not be handed any grid penalties. 

After speaking to Red Bull mechanics, Kravitz confirmed the problem was a transmission issue. Kravitz said Red Bull told Verstappen to stop the car and told him not to drive any further to protect the car.

The issue comes just hours after the FIA investigated Verstappen’s car after Red Bull made some tweaks to his gearbox. The FIA report found the car was still in compliant with the regulations and the champion was not handed any penalties. 

The report was posted by the FIA’s Technical Delegate, Jo Bauer, moments before FP1 got underway. It read: “A seal was broken on the gearbox of car number 01, driver Max Verstappen, in order to change the main shaft locking insert. 

“This was done in accordance with Article 9.1.8 of the 2022 FIA Formula One Technical Regulations. 

“The forward change gear ratio pairs of the gearbox of car number 01, driver Max Verstappen, were checked and found to be in compliance with Articles 9.6.1, 9.7.3 and 9.7.4 of the 2022 Formula One Technical Regulations.”

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