Formula 1 Racing

Verstappen reveals stuck rear brake caused race-ending fire · F1 · RaceFans

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Max Verstappen revealed a stuck brake caused the fire which put him out of the Australian Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver retired on the third lap at the Albert Park circuit as a fire took hold around the right-rear brake duct on his Red Bull.

“What we can see so far in the data is as soon as the lights went off, the right-rear brake just stuck on,” Verstappen told Sky. “Of course, the damage kept on increasing.”

“As soon as the lights went off, you accelerate and you can see one brake, the right-rear brake, just stuck on,” he added.

He said the car felt fine during his reconaissance laps but once the brake stuck “it was basically like driving with a handbrake on.

“That’s why already I felt like the car was really weird to drive in some corners. Just very snappy. While on the laps to the grid, the car was really spot-on and I was very happy with what we were doing. But it explains it, if the brake is stuck on that doesn’t help.”

Verstappen kept his lead from pole position at the start of the race but soon reported a poor handling balance in his car. He was passed by Carlos Sainz Jnr on lap two and smoke began to emerge from the back of the Red Bull soon afterwards.

As the smoke intensified, Verstappen slowed and headed for the pits. As he entered the pit lane a small explosion occured at the right-rear of the car, and the RB20 had to be doused in fire extinguisher as he climbed out.

Verstappen’s retirement is his first since the same race two years and 43 rounds ago. It ends his run of nine consecutive grand prix finishes.

Asked whether he had ever experienced the problem before in one of the team’s cars Verstappen said: “Not that I know of. It must have been a long time ago, maybe.”

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