Christian Horner has revealed the seriousness of the technical issues that threatened to derail Max Verstappen’s Hungarian Grand Prix weekend.
The Red Bull driver took on a new power unit ahead of the race after being hampered by power loss issues in qualifying.
The problem meant that Verstappen started the Grand Prix from 10th place but, as he still had power units to use in his allowance, he took no grid penalty.
Verstappen then scored a remarkable victory from the fifth row of the grid to extend his championship lead over Charles Leclerc to 80 points.
Red Bull boss Horner revealed after the race that identifying the issue after qualifying prevented a retirement.
“We changed the powertrain because a part broke on Saturday for Max,” Horner confirmed to the media, including RacingNews365.com.
“Looking back, we are very happy that the part broke on Saturday, because otherwise the engine would have broken 12 kilometers later on the way to the grid.
“We replaced the entire PSU instead of trying to repair it. We also replaced Checo’s PSU. [Sergio Perez’s] car as a precaution.
Horner confirms mid-race clutch issues for Verstappen
Equipped with a new power unit, Verstappen fought towards the front of the pack to overtake title rival Charles Leclerc for the lead.
However, Verstappen was forced to repeat the overtaking move after a spin out of Turn 13, which briefly put him behind Leclerc.
Verstappen said after the race he believed the spin was related to a clutch problem, an issue which was also confirmed by Horner.
“We had a problem with the clutch on Max’s car, which he was able to handle,” added Horner.
“The temperatures were getting a little too high. That’s also why we gave him a gap with Carlos after the first stop.
“But when we released him, after the clutch issue was brought under control, he had great speed.”