Ferrari believe cool fuel behind Max Verstappen’s last-second pit exit at Spanish Grand Prix

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Verstappen won the Spanish Grand Prix (Getty Images)
Verstappen won the Spanish Grand Prix (Getty Images)

Ferrari believe Max Verstappen’s late exit from the pits at the Spanish Grand Prix is down to Red Bull wanting to keep their fuel as cool as possible.

The minimum temperature for fuel last Sunday was 25 degrees and it is suspected the team cooled it below that level. This meant Verstappen and Sergio Perez had to stay in the garage to increase the temperature ahead of the grand prix.

The defending world champion left the pits with eight seconds to spare and Ferrari says they have to trust in the FIA that it was legal.

“I can imagine it [the late pit exit] was down to the fuel temperature,” Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto said. “They need to be a maximum 10°C below the ambient. It should be at all times during the event. So not only when the car is going out but when the car is in the garage itself.

“I can only trust the FIA. It’s difficult to understand that they were maybe heating up the fuel through a fire-up because it would not explain… as I said, it should be [legal] at all times.

“I can only trust the FIA and I’m pretty sure they are comfortable. They checked it. And maybe that’s not the right explanation as well, you should ask them.”

Verstappen went onto win the Spanish Grand Prix, putting him at the top of the driver standings for the first time this season. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc had pole but his car malfunctioned and so he had to retire from the race.

Leclerc is just six points behind Verstappen in the standings and the star has said his team cannot afford any more reliability issues.

“It is a shame,” he told Sky Sports. “In those moments I feel like there is nothing more I can do apart from looking at the positives and there are plenty this weekend.

“We will look at this issue and we cannot afford for this to happen many times in the season so we need to find the problem.”

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