The Citizen (KZN)

Max frustrated with brakes seizure


Melbourne – Three-time world champion Max Verstappen said it felt like driving “with the handbrake on” after retiring from the Australian Grand Prix Sunday with smoke billowing from his Red Bull.

The Dutchman started from pole and was heavily favoured to win for a third time this season after emphatic victories in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

But it went horribly wrong almost immediatel­y when he was passed by Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz on lap two before his brakes seized up and his race was over.

“What we can see so far from the data is that as soon as the lights went off the right-rear brake just stuck on,” he said.

“It just caused the damage and it kept on increasing so it was also basically driving with the handbrake on.

“That’s why the car felt really weird to drive in some corners, just very snappy, while the laps to the grid of the car was really spoton and I was happy with what we were doing.

“But if a brake is stuck on it doesn’t help.”

It ended any hope he had of matching his own record set last year of 10 consecutiv­e wins and snapped his unbeaten streak of winning from 18 previous pole positions.

His brake failure ended a run of 43 consecutiv­e races without a retirement.

“Of course, we had a lot of good races in a row, a lot of good reliabilit­y,” said the 26-year-old.

“And I knew that the day would come that you end up having a retirement and unfortunat­ely that day was today [Sunday].”

Red Bull team chief Christian Horner admitted it was a frustratin­g day, with Sergio Perez finishing fifth.

“It was not the race we were looking to run,” he said.

“Really frustratin­g to get our first DNF in two years, a lot to understand from that race but disappoint­ing to be leaving here with just a bit less than usual.” –

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