Max Verstappen’s season-opening race in Bahrain ended in an abrupt retirement on Sunday evening, however the reigning World Champion was suffering from multiple issues all race long.
Verstappen lost power and returned to the pit lane with just a handful of laps remaining while looking on course for second place result.
The Dutchman’s team-mate Sergio Perez also retired from the race on the final lap, with Red Bull boss Christian Horner suspecting that both issues were similar.
A problem with the fuel system is believed to be the reason behind Red Bull’s failures.
Verstappen was also heard voicing distress on the team radio over heavy steering, which Horner confirmed was a result of a track rod that bent when the team dropped the RB18 car during a pit stop.
On top of that, Verstappen revealed that he was suffering from overheating brakes throughout the grand prix.
“We had a bit of a fight even though strategy-wise we could’ve done a better job, be more aggressive on the out-lap for example, be ahead and then you never know what might happen,” Verstappen said.
“We had good top speed all race. But after that I had that steering issue, brake issues as well, they were overheating as well if I wanted to attack. After the fight with Charles I had to let him go.
“The steering issue, it was not easy to drive as I had no feeling of what the car was doing because it was not natural.
“You can lose power steering or whatever, and it’s just heavy. But this was like it was almost stuck in some places, so really difficult to drive.
“Of course the big problem was what happened afterwards, it looked like there was no fuel coming to the engine and basically everything just turned off so I rolled back into the pit lane.
“It’s not what you want especially after positive test days and a positive weekend and it looked like until the issues we had, we would be in second place.”
AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly, who also runs the Red Bull Powertrains Power Unit, was the other retirement from the race after his engine caught fire towards the end of the grand prix.
However, Horner doesn’t believe that AlphaTauri’s issue was similar to Red Bull’s, saying it was a suspected MGU-K problem for the Frenchman.
Leave a Reply