Honda has confirmed Max Verstappen was forced to retire from the Italian Grand Prix after it found an issue with his Formula 1 power unit. 

Verstappen was running well down the field when he was forced to retire at Monza, having made a slow start from fifth on the grid.

Having been unable to pass Valtteri Bottas in the first stint, Verstappen lost out through the pit stops, and then fell outside of the points following the second race start after the red flag.

“First, we already had a bad start, when I dropped the clutch I got a lot of wheelspin, because the engine was hot, somehow,” Verstappen said. “From then onwards, we got stuck on the DRS train, so you can’t pass around here then. After the red flag, again at the start, when I accelerated I had a problem with the engine, we tried to solve it but it didn’t go away and we had to retire.”

Red Bull’s sister team and fellow Honda customers, AlphaTauri, claimed its first win since 2008 with Pierre Gasly edging out Carlos Sainz for the victory.

Speaking of Gasly’s surprise win, Verstappen said: “I’m, of course, very happy for Pierre, and, anyway, the whole weekend they were very fast and then, of course, to win the race here is, I think very emotional and a great result for them. It’s a great group of people and I hope they are going to enjoy this one tonight, because they deserve it. Also, great and I’m very happy for Pierre.”

Alexander Albon trailed home in 15th in what was another disappointing afternoon.

Albon was also handed a five-second penalty after he was judged to have not given Romain Grosjean a car’s width into Turn 1.

“I don’t know [if I had damage], I have to check with the guys but for sure it was a long race for us,” Albon added. “I just didn’t have any grip, so we definitely had damage. I’ll see what the team has to say but it wasn’t a fun race.

“It was a tough weekend for us as a team, even without those circumstances it was always going to be tough. It wasn’t a good day for us, obviously a better day for AlphaTauri, so well done to them guys. We’ll put our heads down and focus for Mugello.”

 

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