Christian Horner confirms cause of Max Verstappen’s DNF and reveals Sergio Perez damage

Red Bull F1 boss Christian Horner reveals the cause of Max Verstappen's first DNF in two years

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing on the grid. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 3, Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park,
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing on the grid. Formula 1 World…

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has explained the issue that caused Max Verstappen’s retirement at the F1 Australian Grand Prix.

Verstappen lost the lead on the second lap to Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz before a dramatic and unusual mechanical problem brought his race to a premature end two laps later.

Smoke started to pour from the rear of Verstappen’s Red Bull and the Dutchman limped back to the pits as he suffered his first DNF for two years.

"It's a brake issue and it looked like it was on since the start of the race which is why Max described it as like having a handbrake,” Horner told Sky.

“That caused him to have a couple of moments as the heat was building and building and the result is a fire.

“We’ve got all the bits back now and we will go through the damage and understand exactly what's caused it.”

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…

Verstappen was visibly frustrated when he got out of his RB20 as he saw his early championship lead shrink to just four points.

"A driver is always going to be frustrated when they get out of the car from a retirement,” Horner added.

“He's been very, very gracious with the team. That DNF hurts everyone in the same way. It's a matter of learning from it and understanding what caused it.

"Remarkable after three races he's still leading the World Championship even with that DNF. A lot of lessons learned today.”

Sergio Perez could not win in his teammate’s absence but Horner revealed the Mexican was hampered by damage sustained to his car.

"He's probably not aware from it but he picked up some damage and lost a significant amount of downforce from the floor of the car when he passed Fernando,” he explained.

"As soon as you get that, your tyre deg gets worse. We were just not good at the end of the stints, which is an unusual trait for our cars. We need to understand that.

"I have to congratulate Carlos Sainz today after going through surgery. What a great performance by him and his Ferrari team today."

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