Verstappen keen to understand impact of ERS issues in Canada

Max Verstappen wants to understand the implications Friday’s reliability issues could have on his season after suffering an ERS problem in practice at the Canadian Grand Prix.

Red Bull called Verstappen into the pits on just his fourth lap of FP2 and he had to jump clear of his car in the garage, with the team unable to touch it for some time before getting to work on a suspected ERS issue. The championship leader was one of a number of drivers — including teammate Sergio Perez, both RB drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Alex Albon — to take a new power unit on Friday in Montreal, and he admits the situation could impact the rest of his year.

“Unfortunately FP2, not many laps for me. There was a suspected electrical issue so they told me to box, and they’re investigating now,” Verstappen said. “I haven’t been back in the garage yet, but I’m sure soon we’ll figure out what it is.


“It’s not ideal, I would have liked to drive more laps. Some other people had a few more laps in the dry, a few more laps now in the wet, so it’s definitely not how I would have liked to get on in FP2. I think it’s more important to just figure out what actually happened, and what kind of implications that will have for this weekend or the rest of the year.”

Teams are limited to four internal combustion engines (ICE), turbochargers, MGU-H and MGU-K components each season — with Verstappen taking his third of each on Friday — while they are also only permitted two energy store and control electronics components before receiving a penalty.

Verstappen wasn’t the only driver unhappy at the amount of running he got during a rain-affected day of practice, with Lando Norris not overly optimistic despite topping FP1.

“Never enough, but we learned a good amount,” Norris said. “Actually not in the dry — didn’t learn enough in the dry to be honest. We did the least laps, I think, out of everyone. Not the best thing with that, but in the wet a good amount. I think we’re in a reasonable place. It’s always tricky around here, but I think a reasonable first day.

“At the minute…we seem a little bit off. Ferrari seem definitely a little bit ahead, but I don’t know where we are at the minute because the conditions are changing, so whether you do the first lap when the track’s the best, or the last lap when the track’s the best, it changes everything. I’ve no idea.”

Fernando Alonso was similarly uncertain about where Aston Martin stacks up after setting the fastest time of FP2, due to the majority of slick tire laps taking place on a damp track before further rain.

“It was a tricky Friday for everyone,” Alonso said. “Not many laps in FP1 and not many laps in FP2. Not proper laps in dry conditions and not proper laps in wet conditions — we were in the middle of nowhere. It could be like this in qualifying and the race so it’s still useful information. We need to analyze the data a little bit and be very sharp tomorrow – I think the right decision can gain you five seconds, the wrong decision you are out of the race.

“[The new track surface] feels OK. Obviously it’s not very clean. Also after the storm it’s quite dusty, but at the same time it feels quite good…so I think the new tarmac is a good one. We just need to test it in proper wet conditions to see if there is any aquaplaning or something like that.

“Apart from that, I think it’s going to be an interesting weekend for you guys from the outside, but for us it’s going to be a gamble…about which tire to put on in which moment. Let’s see if we get it right.”

Story originally appeared on Racer