Aston Martin faces a race against time to have all three of its LMP1 challengers ready for the Le Mans 24 Hours, after new signing Jos Verstappen crashed heavily in testing at Monza on Monday.
The Dutchman, who is the reigning Le Mans Series LMP2 champion, went off the circuit after losing control under braking for the Parabolica, and claimed on his website that the impact had written off the chassis.
“I was not even pushing for a quick lap time,” said Verstappen, who was taking part in his first test for the team. “I was 1.4 seconds slower than my fastest time.
“At the Parabolica I braked at exactly at the same point where I had on the previous laps. We can see from the data that there was less than a meter’s difference. But the moment I touched the brake pedal, the rear wheels locked and I spun the car.
“Then I hit the barriers at 190mph and that was it. The impact was almost 15G and the car is written off.”
Verstappen emerged largely unscathed from the accident, but admitted that he was bitterly disappointed for the team which must now try and rebuild the car, possibly around a new tub, in the three weeks between now and the French classic.
“I feel really terrible and I think this is the worst thing for the Aston Martin Racing team,” he said. “I do not understand how this could have happened, because I was not even pushing hard. It was as if something was wrong, very weird. But I’m I trying to find an excuse because I was the one in the car.
“I have pain in my right hand and a stiff neck. It was not a normal impact, so there was some pain. But that will go away. I think it is much worse for the team.”
Prior to the accident, according to his website, Verstappen completed around 30 laps in the car, which he said was enough to be confident in its abilities: “It was good and felt good and it is not necessary for me to drive much longer. Also I was physically fine in the car. Until the crash I had a great feeling and I think the team was also under the same impression.”
Verstappen’s compatriot as well as Prodrive and Aston Martin veteran Peter Kox was also present at the test and is expected to be confirmed in the team’s 24 Hours lineup in place of Portuguese driver Miguel Ramos. Kox was originally rostered in to drive the IPB Spartak Racing Lamborghini in the GT1 class at Le Mans, until the team decided to withdraw from the event for financial reasons.