Formula 1 Racing

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

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Albert Park, 2024

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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