Red Bull’s Max Verstappen says an unexpected 150-horsepower power boost from his Renault engine led to the Q1 crash that knocked him out of qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix. 

The Dutchman had already posted a time good enough to see him into the second part of qualifying, but lost control of his RB14 on the exit of Turn 2 as he began his second flying effort. 

Verstappen spun across the track and through the gravel before ending up in the barriers. He said telemetry data on his Red Bull shows he suffered a bizarre surge in power that caught him out and ultimately caused him to lose control.

"It was unfortunate,” Verstappen said. ”I studied the data a bit and saw we had a 150hp increase, which is a bit odd. The corner isn't flat out, but it was like an off and off switch. It spun up the rear tyres quite aggressively and then I spun.

"I didn't anticipate it at all. With 150hp extra, suddenly it went and when you are already on the limit it is quite a lot.”

Verstappen will start Sunday’s race from 15th as a result. Red Bull team principal Christian Horner refuted suggestions his driver is pushing his car beyond its limits, after he also spun during the season-opening Australian Grand Prix. 

"It is just racing," Horner told Sky Sports. "That lap was never going to be a quicker lap, it was purely about giving the engine the opportunity to learn the optimum settings. It was a mistake but he will have the chance to bounce back from it."


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