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Max Verstappen takes blame for 'not very clever' pit stop blunder

Lars Baron/Getty Images

Max Verstappen took the blame after arriving for an unscheduled pit stop when Red Bull was not expecting him at the U.S. Grand Prix, admitting the incident was "not very clever".

Verstappen arrived for a stop on lap 27 with no Red Bull mechanics waiting for him in the pit box, something which appeared to have cost him a shot at a podium finish. In the end it had little impact because his gearbox failed several laps later.

When asked whether he had heard anything on his radio beforehand, Verstappen explained: "No, they told me to push hard the lap before and I thought that was an indication to box. I thought that was the indication to box so I pulled into the pit lane and realised they didn't box me. That was my fault and not very clever, but in the end it didn't make any difference to the end result."

Christian Horner says the team was in the process of trying to undercut Nico Rosberg, who had been running third behind Daniel Ricciardo in the other Red Bull at the time.

"It was something totally unusual, he just arrived in the pit lane and said 'I am in the pit lane'. We are not very good at fitting tyres when we don't know he is coming in! So it is a shame for him, but ultimately it came to nothing because of the DNF.

"He had not heard anything that lap. The previous lap he'd been told to push to basically close the gap back up to Nico because we were going to try and have an undercut on Nico."