Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Albert Park, 2022

Second retirement in three races is “unacceptable” – Verstappen

2022 Australian Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen said his second retirement in the third race of the year was “unacceptable” following his latest technical problem in the Australian Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver was on course to finish second behind Charles Leclerc when his car came to a sudden stop with 20 laps to go.

“Today in general was just a bad day again,” he told Sky. “Not really having the pace, I was just managing my tyres to try and just bring it to the end because it looked like quite an easy P2 anyway and I knew I could not fight Charles, so there was no point in trying to put pressure on him.

“But we didn’t even finish the race so it’s pretty frustrating and unacceptable.”

Verstappen also retired from the first race of the season in Bahrain. Red Bull were working to address a technical problem on his car on the grid before today’s race began, and he admitted he had doubts over whether he would be able to finish.

Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Albert Park, 2022
Gallery: 2022 Australian Grand Prix in pictures
“I knew there was a problem so it was always going to be a question mark of finishing the race. But these kind of things, if you want to fight for the title, cannot happen.”

He is unsure whether the problem is related to the one which ended his race in Bahrain. “I don’t know. I stopped the car, but they have to get the car back and investigate.”

His second retirement leaves him 46 points behind Leclerc in the championship. Verstappen said he isn’t thinking about the title fight at the moment.

“We’re already miles behind so, I don’t even want to think about the championship fight at the moment, I think it’s more important to finish races.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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76 comments on “Second retirement in three races is “unacceptable” – Verstappen”

  1. With such an unreliable car there’s indeed no point thinking about the title, might go for sporadic wins when the occasion happens like in the 2nd race.

    1. The car is unreliable but also fundamentally slow. Very quick on the straights which offsets the rest, when merc sheds the extra kg and sorts the engine, I can’t see RB fighting for wins.

  2. It appears Red Bull need Honda back.

    1. Aren’t these engines same as last year. Both in production process and design?

      1. These engines are not, same architecture, but the switch to e10 fuels have brought about a lot of changes.

      2. I agree with @Ross. The change to E10 is, most likely, the cause of RB engine reliability problems. It is also the cause of the drop in power of the Mercs engines. The 2 first races, we saw all other team powered by Merc engines at the end of the grid. The Germans will eventually figure it out. Reliability on Merc engines is there. RB will also figure it out what needs to be done to regain reliability. Changes to improve reliability are the ones you can do without restriction, and if power gain comes as a collateral damage, that’s given for free. The changes that allowed Honda to gain extra power in the last 2 years were allegedly changes only to improve their engine reliability.

    2. @Jon they haven’t left, Honda is still building and maintaining the Redbulls engines until 2025.

      1. They haven’t left, but their name is no longer plastered on the rear wing. I can’t imagine that Honda is truly willing to spend development monies on an engine that only bares the HRC moniker, and might be used as the base for another car maker to develop after 2026…

        1. Red Bull should paying all PU stuff.

        2. @Ross I’ll give you the same answer I just gave someone else. It comes back to how much Redbull is paying Honda to build and maintain the engines. Further development could be outside of the budget. Meaning Red bull may be stuck with it. But we need to see what the issue was first before jumping to conclusions.

        3. Red Bull pays for any development (like the E10 fuel adjustment) But that isn’t the problem it’s the new fuel system causing leaks (the stuff between the tank and engine) which is new.

    3. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      10th April 2022, 12:31

      A fuel leak is not and engine problem.

      Verstappen said he could smell something but didn’t know what it was when asked afterwards.

      1. @andyfromsandy

        Verstappen said he could smell something but didn’t know what it was when asked afterwards.

        Yeah, it was the smell of burning flesh as the WDC was ripped out of his hands. Ok, I’m just joking :) maybe it was something simple with an easy fix we’ll just have to wait and see.

  3. What a disastrous start for Max. Redbull in race trim was no better than Mercedes, infact Merc looked better for tyres except in straightline speed. So effectively RedBull was 3rd fastest today cause the safety cars kinda saved them a lot.

    It looks difficult from here on if Mercs get it right.

  4. Hamilton has more points than Max after 3 races.

    1. Steveetienne
      10th April 2022, 9:08

      No one cares about yesterday’s man.

      1. dont give up on VER that early

        1. I wrote yesterdays man, not the current World Drivers Champion. Leclerc, Verstappen & Russell are todays men, Hamilton is done. Good career, albeit lucky from time to time. Probably would have won more Championships if he wasn’t so emotional. I’m sure he will enjoy his retirement.

          1. 3 more points than the paperchamp, with a pretty difficult car. Sounds far from being done to me.

          2. Only 3 more points than a guy that has finished 1 race out of 3 due to car failures out of his control, more tellingly Lewis is 9 points behind his young team mate. Seems like Lewis is struggling pretty badly, thought he was a master no matter how good the car is. Probably might get the odd win again here and there but as for a WDC he is done.

          3. Yes, the way George passed Ham today is all down to the driver. I’m glad you spotted that.

          4. you must be one of those new generations, probably 16 years olds?

      2. Mazybe no one should but the faithful worshippers still do.

        Zombie stuff has plenty of fans, you know

    2. Hamilton also went out in q1 with a Mercedes

      1. He even made some mistakes in the last decade. Like every other driver. Wow.

        1. We only talk about this season. Enough moaning already.

          1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
            10th April 2022, 12:35

            Verstappen fans are not able to focus on their driver. To use the language of the forums Verstappen is crying he is so far behind already but it means his fans have to find some reason to slight Hamilton.

            I am surprised they have not said Charles is only winning because of his car!

          2. @andyfromsandy there are already those who are complaining that Leclerc is only winning because he has a superior car.

          3. @andyfromsandy well m8, Leclerc IS winning because Ferrari build a monster of a car. And I’m not a hardcore Verstappen fan. Leclerc is a great driver, compared with an even greater car. Don’t forget Ferrari have about a half a year head start building their 2022 car compared to Mercedes and RBR. Hamilton and Max are still the benchmark on the grid. Verstappen is the only one who can challenge Leclerc in a much lesser car. Imho, Ferrari will have a pretty easy championship run this year without a real challenger.

          4. @anon yeah well that had to happen didn’t :))

          5. Interesting to see statements only hamfans make..
            Creating own reality.. Time for Russia it seems :)

          6. Coventry Climax
            10th April 2022, 18:30

            @Anon: Wow, Anon. look who’s threatening here, with ‘tribunals’ even, I suppose.
            Not good, man!

          7. just salty that your dutch countryman retired?

          8. Well this season HAM achieved 3 more points than your paperchamp.

      2. ? After Merc tried a last minute hail mary setup that didn’t work. His lap was flawless, the car not so much so…

  5. Remember, before it settled down a couple of seasons ago, the Verstappen’s were threatening to leave due to reliability frustrations. Can’t be long until we hear that narrative again…those get-out clauses in that “longest ever contract” are going to get a fair bit of airtime if RB can’t sort this out sharpish.

    1. The issue is he has nowhere to go. I dislike RB for always being the runner up. They just can’t close. Its frustrating to see as 2nd is in itself an achievement, so I cant be too harsh on them, but wow what a bunch of ‘almost’ for years and years now. But Max wanted a quick entry into the sport, so this is what he got stuck with after many years in this sport. A waste of talent imho, but again… where should he have gone? Hindsight is always easy. Ham could have been a bigger man and allow him into Mercedes, but why would he if you are fighting for WDC’s? And for Max to gamble on Ferrari would have brought him into contention only now in 2022.

      1. Wasn’t intending to critique the decision to stay/go at the time (winning a title justifies it in full imo), just pointing out the WDC and new contract honeymoon might be pretty short lived.

      2. Always runner-up?
        You forgot about the Vettel years?

        1. That is quite some time ago and their only succes so far. It is a pity they just dont seem able to take that last step while others around them clearly can (Mercedes and now Ferrari). But as said, there are more teams behind them than in front, so I can’t be too harsh, yet something is wrong in their car every year.

  6. Karma for the paperchamp. Perez even needed to pity Verstappen, instead on celebrating P2. RBR wingman philisophy at its worst.

    1. Noframingplease (@)
      10th April 2022, 9:33

      -1 L. Hamilton 7 WDS* (* with a car that crushed the competition)

      1. Is that not the same as Leclairc now? Fastest car, at the front?

        Bit like max last year, fastest car most of the season, but still needed Masi to win the title in a car Redbull claim was the best…

        And MSC era at Ferrari, Vettels at Redbull, in fact every driver in the history of the sport needed the car to win.

        Different series maybe? A team one obviously isnt for you…

        1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
          10th April 2022, 12:37

          I just wrote above it surely cannot be long before “Charles is only winning because of his car!”

          1. Coventry Climax
            10th April 2022, 18:34

            Yes, but you meant Leclerc, not Leclairc. ;-)

        2. Difference is Sainz in the same car the car is fast but not the same as Mercedes fast where the second team was 1 sec behind.

  7. A fast but unreliable car that reminds me of MP4-18 & 20.

    1. Sign me in for a season like 2003

    2. Is it fast though? The Ferrari was pulling away at will by a half second a lap.

      1. Yes, it can’t be compared to for example the 2005 mclaren because that was the fastest car, ferrari so far was also faster on average.

  8. I think Horner should start having press-conferences and heavily criticising their engine supplier… DOH!

  9. Unlucky for Max today or was it? But he had no answer to Ferrari pace. Best driver won today.

    1. Not questioning here that Charles Leclerc was the best driver, but that Ferrari is a beast. Did not have to fight very hard for the win, really.

      Charles has always been faster than Sainz, who had a bad day at the office today, now he is beginning to look more consistent also

    2. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      10th April 2022, 12:40

      The work that was being carried out on the car prior to the race it appears had nothing to do with the actual reason it stopped.

    3. RandomMallard
      10th April 2022, 13:24

      I mean yes 100% Leclerc was the worthy winner, and there was no chance Verstappen would have caught him today. I think it’s still unlucky for Verstappen though, as it’s still 18 points lost through no fault of his own, and those 18 points would be more than enough to elevate him from 6th to 2nd in the championship.

      1. How do you know it’s not Vers fault? Reminds me of Senna and Prost. Senna was just really hard on his cars and lost championships because of it. Unless you believe in luck.

        1. Coventry Climax
          10th April 2022, 18:49

          @darryn: You serious? Got any articles and investigations to prove that?
          As far as I know that’s a myth, albeit a stubborn one. Of the type ‘sun revolves earth’, ‘earth is flat’ and ‘god created the universe in seven days’, ‘elite conspiracy to kill young kids’ and ‘vaccine designed to make people sick’.

        2. There’s actually an article on f1 metrics blog that explains prost might actually have had a beneficial effect on machinery, so more than senna being hard on the car seems prost was exceptional in that sense.

  10. Hey Christian, perhaps don’t order your engines off Wish.

    1. Like Mercedes did with the old Haas design?

      1. this article is about RBRs poor reliability this year

        1. That’s beyond his comprehension to be fair.

  11. RandomMallard
    10th April 2022, 13:22

    This has got to be a concern now for Red Bull surely. Not just consistent failures, but if they’re happening in the wrong parts of the engine (and I don’t know the full details of what’s failing, how, and where) then they may find they need to start taking grid penalties sooner rather than later.

  12. Karma!!

  13. I would be more worried that verstappen was getting dropped by leclerc and Perez may have finished behind Hamilton. Although perez got by after the stop on warmer tires in the first stint Hamilton was all over him and had even overcut Perez. It’s better to have a fast car and try to make it reliable than try to make reliable car fast but today and so far the points table say, maybe.

    1. For points definitely it’s better a slower car (to this degree) than a fast but unreliable one, you just lose too many points when you’re in 2nd place or better if you can’t finish.

  14. Ferrari: ‘so do you want the Sainz’s seat next Max?’
    Ferrari seat is already very tempting for every driver and a dominant Ferrari is hard to resist. They have also got the best Power Unit currently and their advantage is locked for some years.

    1. Sergey Martyn
      10th April 2022, 18:39

      But what if they find ‘dominant’ Ferrari dominantly cheating again like in 2019? Huh?

  15. Horners tore me up today. To Loosely quote him:” i rather have a fast unreliable car than a reliable alow car” but the slow reliable car is ahead!! Hahahahaha!

    1. But it’s unavoidable with the points system, you lose way too many points for frequent retirements, don’t see how it’s a surprise. Red bull now I think about it was often fast and unreliable in the past, think about vettel era too compared to ferrari.

  16. Turns out that the “1” on the front of his car is actually the count of finishes he’s managed…

    1. It also means that whenever he finishes he does so in first position!

  17. I hope its not like the McLaren from 2004-5

    1. Seems like that, 2004 more like, 2005 at least was the fastest car.

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