Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Albert Park, 2022

Verstappen’s frustration over latest retirement “totally understandable” – Horner

2022 Australian Grand Prix

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Christian Horner says that Red Bull “can’t accept DNFs” after Max Verstappen retired from second place in the Australian Grand Prix.

Verstappen had run behind Charles Leclerc for the majority of the race and struggling to keep pace with the Ferrari before a mechanical problem left Red Bull with no choice but to tell him to stop the car on lap 39.

After the second retirement from second place in two races, Verstappen described the misfortune as “unacceptable”. His team principal Horner says that he sympathises with his world champion driver.

“It’s totally understandable, his frustration,” Horner told Sky. “That was a really, really disappointing result, not to finish the race.

“We don’t know what the issue is yet. I don’t think it’s actually engine related – I think it might be a fuel issue – but we need to get the car back, we need to be able to look at what’s exactly happened. So until we get the car back, we don’t have the data, we don’t have the info. But desperately frustrating.

Horner admitted that Red Bull “didn’t have the pace” to fight for the win against Leclerc and Ferrari during the race. “They were in a league of their own,” Horner added. “But [it’s still] frustrating not to be bagging those points.”

Despite the setback for Verstappen, Sergio Perez claimed second place and 18 points for the team having started from third on the grid behind his team mate.

Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Albert Park, 2022
Gallery: 2022 Australian Grand Prix in pictures
“All credit to Checo today,” said Horner. “He lost out through the Safety Car – again, he got unlucky. But he made the passes – he passed Lewis with a great move around the outside. He then had to pass George as well to get back up into that P2.

“We just didn’t, as a team, have the pace to beat Charles today that car, on these tyres, on this surface of this track today. It was untouchable, which we didn’t see on Friday. So it came alive for them today.”

Asked if it was frustrating for Red Bull to seemingly have a fast but unreliable car, Horner said “yes, but I’d rather fix a fast car, than try and make a reliable and slow one fast.”

“We need to get on top of it,” he added. “We can’t accept DNFs, but we need to understand what the issue is and we got to address it.”

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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13 comments on “Verstappen’s frustration over latest retirement “totally understandable” – Horner”

  1. So that’s 36 secure points down due to no fault of his own… and conversely equally many ‘free’ points to rivals behind. Ouch. Hope his luck improves.

    1. Yes, to be honest he hasn’t been lucky at all when it comes to reliability in his career, 2017 example he was clearly faster than ricciardo and got a lot more issues, 2021 almost lost the championship due to circumstances outside his own, even though they can’t be down to reliability in that case, but certainly the puncture in baku was costly, and again now.

  2. If I was Horner I will start complaining to the engine supplier early so they can fix the issues. It has worked for them in previous seasons.

    1. If I was Horner

      you were married with a spice girl.. Is that really your ultimate ambition?

    2. @OOliver

      If I was Horner I will start complaining to the engine supplier early so they can fix the issues

      Which would be Honda and I suppose it would come back to how much Redbull are paying them to supply and maintain. Further development could be outside of the budget so they may be stuck with it.

      1. I’m just saying that it becomes difficult to complain when the problem is right in your house unlike if it was a neighbours.

        1. @OOliver Oh yeah I absolutely get it, the irony being Redbull pushed so hard for the ICE development freeze. But it may amount to nothing more than a few minor fixes so we’ll have to wait and see what Redbull say and if their performance is affected at the next race.

    3. He IS the supplier, officially.

      They are allowed reliability fixes, but they’ll have to petition the FIA, and tell not just the FIA, but the other engine manufacturers, what their reliability fix is.

  3. Red Bull does not give you wings.

  4. It’s like they are back in the renault era

  5. Hey @erikje, they say one sheet does the job of three towels with Plenty. Just the thing to mop up those tears from this morning!

  6. Can’t wait for Red bull to publicly slate their engine supplier and claim they would have won the championship if it wasn’t for them.

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