Max Verstappen has spoken out about his “frustrating” morning at the Australian Grand Prix after having to retire from the race on Lap 39.
The Dutchman had to stop on track at turn one with smoke coming from the power unit of his Red Bull – which came after work was done on his car ahead of the Grand Prix today.
Speaking about the team’s issues today, Verstappen said if they want to fight for the title “these things cannot happen.”
“We’re already miles behind, so I don’t even want to think about the championship fight at the moment. It’s more important to finish races,” he said.
“Today was in generally just a bad day and not really having the pace, I was just managing my tyres to try to bring it to the end because it looked like quite an easy P2 and there was no point trying to fight Charles because I couldn’t put pressure on him.
“But we didn’t even finish the race, which is pretty frustrating and unacceptable.”
“I knew there was a problem and it was always going to be a case of trying to finish the race. But these kind of things, if you want to fight for the title, cannot happen.”
Team principal Christian Horner then said he understands the 24-year-old’s frustrations and says they still don’t know exactly what happened with the RB18.
“It is totally understandable his frustration that was a really disappointing result to not finish the race,” he said.
“We don’t know what the issue is yet but we don’t think it is an engine issue we think it actually might be fuel related.
“But we need to get the car back and look at what actually is happening.
“Desperately frustrating, as Max said, we didn’t have the pace to race Ferrari today, they were in a league of their own and disappointing to not be in the points.
“All credit to Checo today, he got unlucky with the safety car, he passed Lewis with a great move around the outside, then he had to get passed George as well.”
He went on to admit that the team simply could not keep up with the over-performing Ferrari and noted the potential factors that added to this.
“We, as a team, just didn’t have the pace to compete with the Ferrari today on these tyres, on this surface on this track today.
“It was untouchable and we didn’t see that on Friday so it just came alive today.
“We need to get on top of it, we can’t accept DNFs, we need to get on top of it and address it.
“Max, it is fair to say, hadn’t been happy all weekend with getting the car in the window.
“We have things in the pipeline that I think will help and we move back to Europe now so we have to put this behind us, address it and move on.”
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