The race in Monza developed for Max Verstappen according to a quite good scenario. Yes, he lost the start to Daniel Riccardo of McLaren, but was two spots ahead of his main rival Lewis Hamilton. This course of the race promised to increase the advantage over the Briton in the individual standings.
However, everything turned upside down when Max turned on the planned pit stop on the 23rd lap. The Milton Keynes mechanics are considered some of the best in F1, often changing wheels in less than two seconds.
But this time, Verstappen’s car hung on jacks much longer – the total pit stop time exceeded 11 seconds. It is for this reason that the Dutchman was on the track behind Hamilton, he was forced to attack him in the first turn, and what happened next is well known.
But what caused the hitch. The head of Red Bull, Christian Horner, in the first interviews spoke about the possibility of equipment malfunctioning. But later, in an interview with the F1 press service, he presented a different version.
“It’s a matter of human error,” Christian admitted. – We got a hitch. The wheel was installed, and it was possible to start moving, but the car, unfortunately, was not released from the mechanics.
This is a human error. Usually guys are phenomenally fast in the pit lane, but this time it turned out differently. “
I must admit that these words do not shed light on what happened. Remember the story of the Valtteri Bottas nut in Monaco. There the mechanics struggled to unscrew the nut. At Red Bull in Monza, everyone just looked at the car, then the guy with the wrench just touched the wheel – and Max immediately rushed to the track.
What’s the matter?
There is reason to believe that Red Bull was the first victim of the new rules, which were just initiated by the rivals to deprive the Bulls of the advantage of rapid pit stops.
All summer, the teams tried to persuade the FIA to adjust the regulations – and by the beginning of autumn they achieved their goal.
Now, in order to increase the influence of the notorious human factor, instead of an automatic sensor that detects the end of a wheel change and sends a signal to a general traffic light in front of the pilot’s eyes, the mechanic himself must activate the switch on the wrench.
It is very likely that in Monza the guy at the right front wheel simply forgot about the new order, automatically doing what he had been practicing for months and had done in races hundreds of times before. And only after a few seconds I realized that it was necessary to bring the wrench to the wheel and press the notorious switch.
By the way, in the same race, Mercedes also had a hitch in the pits, although not so serious – because of it, Hamilton found himself on the track dangerously close to Verstappen …