Max Verstappen out of Australian GP with fiery issue as F1 win streak ends

Max Verstappen's hopes of a record-equalling 10th consecutive F1 win go up in smoke with dramatic DNF.

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB20 in parc ferme. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 3, Australian Grand Prix, Albert
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB20 in parc ferme. Formula 1 World…

Max Verstappen retired from the Australian Grand Prix with a mechanical failure, ending his F1 race-winning streak.

Smoke was seen pouring from the rear of Verstappen’s Red Bull on lap four and the reigning world champion suddenly plummeted down the order.

Verstappen was able to limp back to the pits but the issue forced him into retirement on the fourth lap of Sunday’s race in Melbourne. The Dutchman reported his rear brakes were on fire on his way into the pits.

The DNF ends Verstappen’s remarkable 43-race finishing streak and has seen his hopes of claiming a record-equalling 10th victory go up in smoke.

Verstappen had maintained the lead at the start but was overtaken by Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz on the second lap, prior to the emergence of his race-ending problem.

"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," Verstappen told Sky. 

"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 the car was really spot on and I was happy with what we were doing.

"But if a brake is stuck on it doesn't help."

Verstappen's retirement marks the first time in two years - since the 2022 Australian Grand Prix - that Verstappen has failed to finish a race. 

Ferrari driver Sainz capitalised by claiming victory in Melbourne, joined by Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris on the podium.

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