‘Like driving with the handbrake on’ - Max Verstappen’s explains rare DNF

Max Verstappen has explained the problem which caused his first F1 retirement in two years.

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB20 with a smoking rear brake that led to his retirement. Formula 1 World
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB20 with a smoking rear brake that…

Max Verstappen has explained what went wrong on his Red Bull F1 car after retiring from the Australian Grand Prix.

The reigning world champion became an early casualty when he suffered a bizarre mechanical issue on the rear of his Red Bull on the fourth lap of Sunday’s race in Melbourne.

Smoke was seen pouring out of Verstappen’s car before the Dutchman started to fall down the order as he limped back to the pits.

Verstappen reported a fire over the team radio as he pulled into the pits for his first retirement in two years - since the 2022 Australian Grand Prix.

Verstappen, who lost the lead to Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz on the second lap, had complained that his RB20 felt “snappy” and “loose” in some corners moments before his race ended.

"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.”

The DNF brings to an end a 43-race finishing streak for Verstappen and also saw his hopes of taking a record-equaling 10th straight win go up in smoke. 

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