Max Verstappen opens up on ‘weird’ Red Bull and Ferrari issues after Spanish GP victory

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Max Verstappen has expressed his confusion over the ‘weird’ reliability problems that have plagued the efforts of Red Bull and Ferrari since the beginning of the new Formula One season. The Dutchman has won every race that he has managed to finish in 2022 but has already been forced to retire through no fault of his own on two occasions due to his engine having given up on him, while his Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez has also struggled with a number of similar power unit issues over the course of the campaign to date.

Charles Leclerc of Ferrari was the highest-profile casualty at last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix when he was forced out with a power unit failure shortly before the halfway mark that wrecked his hopes of securing a third race victory of the new season. Mercedes were also threatened by fluid leaks on both cars during the closing stages in Barcelona after Zhou Guanyu dropped out of the race with an engine problem of his own, prompting Verstappen to question the reliability of F1’s all-new 2022 cars after the end of the contest.

“It shouldn’t really be car related because like the engines and stuff are pretty much the same,” said Verstappen. “Of course, the fuel has changed a little bit, but it’s a bit weird.

“Yeah. also from our side, of course, we had already two retirements where before we were always really strong on reliability. It’s a bit difficult to tell, it’s also not major issues that we had.

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“I don’t know about Ferrari, but from our side, it’s little things and we are trying to be on top of that, but I don’t think it’s specifically car related.”

Verstappen managed to clinch his third successive Grand Prix victory in Spain but it was not all plain sailing for the 24-year-old, who was left frustrated by a problem relating to his DRS activator for a large part of the 66-lap race. Red Bull eventually opted to switch strategies to aid Verstappen’s hopes of taking the chequered flag but needed to force Perez to allow his team-mate through in order to rubber-stamp the result at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

“That issue with the DRS, of course, was quite costly but at the end,” added Verstappen. “But we still won the race, so as a team we are quite flexible.

“We adapt quickly if we have issues and we try to work around it, even during the race, so that’s good. But, yeah, of course, we tried to make sure that that doesn’t happen again, but we didn’t retire which other teams did.

“So that’s already a good improvement and you can see, it completely swings the championship around again. So from our side we just have to try and be really consistent and try not to make too many mistakes.

“I mean, you’re not a robot, mistakes will happen. But yeah, we’ll try to minimise it.”

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