F1 star Max Verstappen was forced to retire during Sunday’s chaotic Bahrain Grand Prix.
Martin Brundle believes Max Verstappen was ‘angry’ during Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix. The Red Bull driver went into the race hoping to get his defence of his F1 title off to a positive start. However, he was unable to reign supreme and was forced to retire in the closing stages.
For most of the race in Bahrain, Verstappen was able to keep pace with Ferrari duo Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr – who both went on to claim first and second on the podium respectively.
However, the Dutchman ended up being forced to retire after encountering issues with his vehicle.
After the race, Verstappen was dejected. He said: “To lose so many points for the team is also very disappointing, because for the championship where sometimes it can be really tight until the end, these are very important points.”
He also labelled the entire afternoon as ‘very frustrating’, adding: “I mean, what happened at the end is obviously very frustrating, but of course before that, quite a few issues.
“First of all the balance was off.I didn’t have the same feeling as on Friday on the long runs, so that was a bit disappointing.
“Then suddenly my steering, I don’t know what happened to that, it was just completely locked and the faster I was going, I could barely steer.
“So it was not easy on the restart to defend from Carlos.
“But then I was still in second with that big issue so you think, okay, with all these issues that I’ve had today, second would be a good result.
“And then suddenly I had to retire, everything just switched off.
“It looked like a fuel pump or issue, there was no fuel coming to the engine.
“Of course these things, you don’t want them to happen and it’s very painful for the team as well that both cars retired. We need to look into everything.”
And Brundle, writing in his column for Sky Sports, has now expressed a belief Verstappen was ‘angry’ throughout the showdown.
And with Red Bull eyeing another title triumph, that’s likely to spark them into strong action behind the scenes.
“Verstappen seemed angry for much of the race,” he said.
“Angry that he perceived he was not allowed to push hard enough after his first two pit stops to undercut Leclerc and have track position out front, angry that his tyres faded quite quickly, then very angry that his power steering had taken a knock after being lowered off the front jack on his final pit stop, and then the cruel race-ending reliability issues.
“I was doing the post-race interviews and so left the commentary box a couple of laps early.
“When I went into the pedestrian tunnel under the pit straight I was thinking Verstappen had a real chance of using his prodigious straight-line speed to win the race on the safety car restart subject to his power steering issues, and by the time I had emerged he was in all sorts of trouble.
“The cruel irony for Red Bull is that the safety car was triggered by a fire in the sister team’s Alpha Tauri driven by Pierre Gasly.
“I’d mentioned earlier in our Sky F1 show that few teams had done a hot run-out fuel test with the new E10 fuel; it’s quite a difference when the remaining fuel gets ever hotter in the tank in the closing stages of a race. I know these things only because knowledgeable people tell me.
“Furthermore, and unusually, teams had been given an extra ‘curfew’ working hour on the Saturday night to check the standard-issue fuel lift pumps on their cars.
“As I’m writing this column I don’t yet know, but after the safety car period this could well have counted for the double Red Bull retirement.”
Red Bull now have less than a week to improve their cars, with Sergio Perez also forced to withdraw.
The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix commences on Sunday, a race Verstappen finished second in last year.