Max Verstappen believes the Formula 1 engine issue which impacted the start of his Tuscan Grand Prix was the same one which forced him to retire from last weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.

Verstappen made a fast start from third on the grid but quickly fell down the order on the run down to Turn 1.

“No, it wasn’t [fixed],” Verstappen said. “Already on the formation lap the engine stalled. Probably the same problem to Monza I guess as it felt a bit similar. I had a good launch, I went around Lewis and then it didn’t accelerate so I lost a lot of speed.”

Verstappen ended the opening lap in the gravel after being hit by the Alfa Romeo of Kimi Raikkonen - an incident which also forced Pierre Gasly to retire and Romain Grosjean to pick up damage.

Reflecting on the incident, he said: “That doesn’t matter, that’s what happens when you get in a situation like that. I would have probably retired anyway. It is what it is.”

Verstappen complained of an engine issue on his way to the grid but team boss Christian Horner confirmed the Dutchman’s lack of power at the start of the race was a completely different issue.

“No, the issue on the grid was something different, Horner said. “It was to do with the rear light, it was nothing to do with the actual power unit but on the formation lap everything looked OK and then suddenly there was this big electrical issue just after the start. He got a great initial launch, he did the hard bit, he was ahead of Lewis.”

Horner believes Verstappen had the pace and tyre management to challenge the Mercedes duo for the victory, had he not retired on the opening lap.

“Enormously frustrating for him because he was really up for it today, you could see we had a good race car,” Horner added. “I don’t think it would have been a walk in the park for Mercedes today.”

 

 

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