Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Albert Park, 2024

Red Bull saw warning sign of Australian GP brake problem on Saturday – Verstappen

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Max Verstappensays Red Bull saw warning signs on Saturday in Melbourne of the brake problem which ended his race the next day.

The world champion suffered a major overheating on his right-rear brake after the start of the race. It caught fire and forced him out within four laps.

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, Verstappen admitted that Red Bull had already detected something may not have been correct with his car before race day in Melbourne but were unable to diagnose the problem before it led to his retirement.

“I think we saw already some some signs on Saturday where things were maybe not looking like they should have done,” he said.

“Of course then now in hindsight, yeah, you can say that it was coming from the brake caliper. But we couldn’t find any fault with the car.

“It’s always bad to retire, but when you have a fault in maybe the build spec or whatever, then it’s a bit worse. So we’ll just move on from there and learn from it so that it doesn’t happen again. But normally it shouldn’t.”

The failure to finish ended Verstappen’s nine-race winning streak. It was his first retirement since the 2022 Australian Grand Prix, where he also dropped out with a car problem.

As a result Verstappen arrives at Suzuka having seen a winning streak end for the second year in a row. His record 10-race winning run was broken in the Singapore Grand Prix last year where Red Bull were unusually uncompetitive.

However the Red Bull driver is confident he can recover from his latest setback as he did last year in Japan.

“Every year is different,” he said. “But also last year we had a bit of a difficult weekend in Singapore.

“I think if you look at Melbourne, performance-wise, I think we were quick but we didn’t finish the race. That’s not ideal. But our car normally likes the high speed corners, so hopefully that we can show that again this weekend.”

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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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10 comments on “Red Bull saw warning sign of Australian GP brake problem on Saturday – Verstappen”

  1. Maybe if Max had not destabilised the team a little bit by threatening to leave, this brake issue might not have emerged. Will he learn from this? I doubt it.

    1. There is a conspiracy theory for every occasion I see.

    2. I see we’re chucking wild conspiracy theories around, so then how about this one….

      They knew about it earlier in the weekend because Netflix told them the plot.

      Netflix informed them that they had this great episode lined up focusing on Sainz, his rejection from Ferrari, his operation and time away and then beating all the odds to win on his return. It was going to be an emotional rollercoaster. Once they saw Sainz qualify so well, then in order to increase the chances of their story becoming reality, they politely asked Red Bull to sabotage Verstappen’s car… All in the name of entertainment.

      Tongue is firmly in cheek by the way…

      1. Damn, I’m such a conspiracy theorist that I fully believe this!

      2. Though I’d say it backfired: red bull was weak in australia, so it’d have been an interesting race with verstappen in.

  2. Chris Horton
    4th April 2024, 11:52

    In a sport where the engines create 1000hp from 1.6 of displacement and have engines with 50% thermal efficiency…

    …they can’t diagnose a sticking brake caliper?

    1. It does somewhat imply incompetence.

  3. Yeah, as with Ferrari failing to replace parts on Leclercs car after he crashed in Monaco qualifying, failing to act on the sings that something might be wrong here really hurt them.

    1. Ferrari being Ferrari

    2. From ferrari you can expect that, from red bull it’s surprising.

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