Max Verstappen's gearbox issue averted by alert adviser
Max Verstappen may have given Red Bull their first victory of the Formula One season last Sunday at the Austrian Grand Prix, but it could have been very different if not for the intervention of their racing technical adviser.
Verstappen, 21, edged the contest at the Red Bull Ring by a mere 2.724 seconds, but the shift put in by Sean Dunnett was just as important as any in the Red Bull set-up.
Dunnett, 28, is one of only two technical advisers for fuels and lubricants company ExxonMobil, a partner of Red Bull since 2017, and is tasked with ensuring the race fuel and lubricants are performing at their optimal level, while remaining compliant to FIA regulations.
In the lead-up to the Austrian GP, Dunnett made a pivotal call when his inspection of the oil samples highlighted a gearbox issue, which sent alarm bells ringing among Red Bull team officials.
"We had an issue with the gearbox, it was getting very close to its service life," Dunnett told The New Paper at the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing headquarters in Milton Keynes on Tuesday.
"I was taking samples every 10 minutes and (through data analysis), I managed to prove that the issue wasn't getting to the stage where it could cause failure.
"They might not have known about the issue or, without it being monitored, it could have got a lot worse." - NARENDAREN KARNAGERAN