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F1 Mexican GP: Verstappen explains dramatic fire, raises race concern

Max Verstappen is forced to make up time as a fire on his brakes in FP1 consigns him to the garage for much of the morning.
Mexican Grand Prix - Free practice results (2)

Max Verstappen says a combination of factors were to blame for the rear brake fire that consigned him to the garage for the majority of the Mexican Grand Prix FP1 session.

Arriving at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit eager to bounce back from his mechanically-induced DNF in Austin, Verstappen's Mexico weekend didn't get off to a strong start when his rear brakes overheated and caught fire, damaging the wheel.

Forcing Red Bull to pull him from the session to make repairs, Verstappen says pushing on his in-lap was a factor in them catching alight when he came to a stop in his box.

“I think it was just a bit unfortunate I needed to do like two installation laps just to go out again and they told me to just keep pushing and I think you can't push in your in-lap and all-in-all with those combinations they went onto a bit of fire.”

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Indeed, Verstappen admits this could be a concern for the race as he will worry the brakes could have problems again if they are not given a chance to cool.

“I think in the race you cannot slow down on your in lap. But it will be tough. This track is always challenging, like it was last year, so we have wait and see how they hold on.”

Returning in FP2 to set the seventh quickest time, though the Dutchman admits this is not a circuit that will necessarily suit the strengths of the Red Bull RB12, he was more satisfied with his race pace.

“It's of course not ideal but we've had that on many tracks already so it is like it is, we just have to deal with it.”

“I think our race pace was very strong, we need to look into the show and anyway I think missing first practice almost entirely I was still working a lot on the car and finally before the long run I made a final set-up change and that seemed to work pretty well.”

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