Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2023

‘We must make sure these things don’t happen’ says Verstappen as fault leaves him 15th

2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen said his Red Bull team need to stamp out reliability problems after a driveshaft failure ended his hopes of taking pole position for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver qualified 15th for tomorrow’s race after his car came to a stop in Q2. While Verstappen initially suspected a power unit failure was to blame, his team revealed the RB19’s driveshaft had failed.

“Out of turn 10 the driveshaft just broke, so that’s that’s really unfortunate,” said the reigning world champion. “Also it’s something I don’t understand because we never really had any issues with that so far this year. But it did happen so we will analyse everything and try to understand how it happened.”

The failure was a blow to Verstappen who headed all three practice sessions prior to qualifying. “It’s been really straightforward, to be honest,” he said.

“A better weekend in general than actually Bahrain for me, personally, how I felt in the car and I think you could see that in practice. But that doesn’t matter when you can’t really do qualifying, right? So we need to understand of course what went wrong.”

Red Bull were almost a second per lap quicker than any other car in final practice. However Verstappen said his car’s pace is no consolation after his retirement.

“I think it shouldn’t matter if the car is really quick or not,” he said, “I think it should always be as disappointed or upset when things go wrong.

“We have to make sure that these things don’t happen again. It doesn’t matter if you are fighting out front or last, you want a car which is reliable.”

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Verstappen’s radio messages after driveshaft failure

VerstappenI have a problem. Engine, mate, problem.
VerstappenI don’t know. I put in the clutch. Let me know what I have to do.
LambiaseWill do.
LambiaseOkay you can continue to limp home.
VerstappenIt doesn’t sound good.
LambiaseOkay next car coming through Hulkenberg
VerstappenIt’s almost not accelerating.
LambiaseOkay understood Max, we’ll do what we can. We’re happy for you to try and limp home if possible.
VerstappenJust give me recommendations, what gear.
LambiaseCan we have recharge on and diff 12.So you’ve got Ocon at five seconds, he’s coming through quickly.
VerstappenAny other cars?
LambiaseJust Magnussen at the moment. Eight seconds. Now six. Five. Recommend letting him through before 27, Max, in case you have an issue. Track clear behind Magnussen. And box.
LambiaseSo look out for the weigh bridge.

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2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

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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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4 comments on “‘We must make sure these things don’t happen’ says Verstappen as fault leaves him 15th”

  1. Oh come on, Max, at least give the season a bit of excitement for us. I’m sure he’ll still convert it to a win after Reb Bull tells Perez to let him through.

    1. Indeed, first thing I thought was: “why making sure they don’t happen? Will be more interesting to charge through the field and fight for the win than dominating”

  2. It really doesn’t matter. He could start at the back and still win. He could DNF and still easily win the Championship with 5 races to go.

    As his race engineer said last weekend “there is no race” he’s already got the Championship. That RedBull is just too far ahead of last years RedBull! And then everyone else. Praying anyone can build a concept to rival them within the next year.

  3. He’s right unnecessary issues like this must be annoying for him. More work for him to do on Sunday.

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