Red Bull reveal qualifying issue saved Verstappen from Hungary DNF

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Red Bull has revealed Max Verstappen's engine problem in qualifying prevented a certain retirement at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The Dutchman only started 10th at the Hungaroring after failing to set a representative lap time in Q3 due to a lock-up on his first run and then a loss of power on his second.

That loss of power though enabled Red Bull to act and prevent what would have been a very short race if one at all for Verstappen.

“We changed the power unit because there was a component that broke in Max’s car on Saturday," said team boss Christian Horner.

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"Thankfully, sitting here with 20-20 hindsight, I'm grateful it did break then because another 12 kilometres and it would have broken on the way to the grid.

“So we elected to change the whole power unit rather than to try and repair in the field, and as a precaution, we also changed Checo’s.”

With a healthy engine, Verstappen flew through the field to claim victory on Sunday, his eighth of the season in just 13 races.

“I think it’s right up there,” the Red Bull boss said when asked if it was one of Max's best wins in his career.

“The start, you saw him, it’s the first time I’ve seen him being cautious.

“He got himself a little bit pinched in the middle of the pack there, but thereafter his pace, the way he managed the issues that he had was phenomenal.”

Verstappen's pace on Sunday was also matched by Red Bull's strong strategy.

The team had initially planned to use hard tyres at the start but changed onto softs in a last-minute decision.

Then an early second stop enabled the Dutchman to perform the undercut on George Russell before Ferrari made the disastrous call to put Charles Leclerc onto that terrible hard compound.

“It felt that Ferrari were on a very different strategy at that point,” Horner said, admitting his surprise at the Scuderia's decision to pit the lap after Max.

“They obviously looked to bank track position, but as soon as they pitted Charles and brought out a set of hard tyres, it really felt that a victory was possible.”