Formula 1 Racing

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

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2023

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

Verstappen I have a problem. Engine, mate, problem.
Lambiase Understood.
Verstappen I don’t know. I put in the clutch. Let me know what I have to do.
Lambiase Will do.
Lambiase Okay you can continue to limp home.
Verstappen It doesn’t sound good.
Lambiase Okay next car coming through Hulkenberg
Verstappen It’s almost not accelerating.
Lambiase Okay understood Max, we’ll do what we can. We’re happy for you to try and limp home if possible.
Verstappen Just give me recommendations, what gear.
Lambiase Can we have recharge on and diff 12.So you’ve got Ocon at five seconds, he’s coming through quickly.
Verstappen Any other cars?
Lambiase Just Magnussen at the moment. Eight seconds. Now six. Five. Recommend letting him through before 27, Max, in case you have an issue….

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