Verstappen: Bahrain DNF could be "very important" in F1 title fight

Max Verstappen found it “very disappointing” to retire from second late in the Bahrain Grand Prix, saying the lost points could prove “very important” in the Formula 1 title fight.

Verstappen: Bahrain DNF could be "very important" in F1 title fight

Verstappen qualified second in Bahrain and battled with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc through the opening stages, going side-by-side for position after the first round of pit stops.

But after slipping back from Leclerc, Verstappen began to struggle with the steering on his car as he reported a recurring issue, and then noted the car was “s**tting itself” as a fresh issue emerged ahead of the late restart, which turned out to be related to the fuel pump.

Verstappen began to slow on-track with four laps to go, losing positions before crawling into the pits at the end of the lap to retire. Further misery was piled on Red Bull when Verstappen’s team-mate, Sergio Perez, spun out of third place on the last lap due to the same issue.

Verstappen admitted the pace of the Red Bull in the race was “not what I hoped for compared to Friday”, and thought the team could have “done a better job to be a bit more aggressive on the out-lap” after his pit stops. Verstappen was heard complaining he was told not to push too hard after pitting, missing the chance to get the undercut on Leclerc.

“The big problem was what happened afterwards, which looked like there was no fuel coming to the engine and basically everything just turned off, and I rolled back into the pitlane,” Verstappen said.

“It is not what you want, especially after having really positive test days and also a positive weekend. It looked like with the little issues that we had, to be in second place that would’ve been a very good result, 18 points, probably, with Checo fourth.

“But to retire with both cars at the end of the race is very disappointing.”

Read Also:
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, heads into the garage after retiring

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, heads into the garage after retiring

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

It marked an underwhelming start to Verstappen’s title defence, having seen Ferrari score a 1-2 finish and Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton score 15 points for third place.

“It is just disappointing, you always say to yourself and to the team as well, we have to score points, it doesn’t matter if it first or second in the first race,” Verstappen said.

“You could see that at Turn 1 at the start, I didn’t risk too much, also when I was fighting with Charles, it was all clean and I was happy with a second place here.

“But to lose so many points for the team is also very disappointing, because for the championship where sometimes it can be really tight until the end, these are very important points.”

Asked by Autosport about his frustration over the radio directed at engineer Gianpiero Lambiase, Verstappen said: “I don’t hold back, I say what I think in the car and I was not happy with what we were doing or with the balance of the car or with the strategy.

“It wasn’t necessarily directed to GP, I have a really good relationship with him. Of course he’s the only one I can talk to, but we have to analyse quite a few things.”

shares
comments
Magnussen worried he'd be more tired in stellar Bahrain F1 return
Previous article

Magnussen worried he'd be more tired in stellar Bahrain F1 return

Next article

Leclerc explains tactics for beating Verstappen in Bahrain GP battles

Leclerc explains tactics for beating Verstappen in Bahrain GP battles
Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver Plus

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Many doubted Lewis Hamilton’s move from McLaren to Mercedes for the 2013 Formula 1 season. But the journey he’s been on since has taken the Briton to new heights - and to a further six world championship titles

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era Plus

Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

OPINION: With teams outside the top three having struggled in Formula 1 in recent seasons, the rules changes introduced in 2022 should have more of an impact this season. How well Haas does, as the poster child for the kind of team that F1 wanted to be able to challenge at the front, is crucial

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff Plus

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

OPINION: Although the central building blocks for Mercedes’ recent, long-lasting Formula 1 success were installed before he joined the team, Toto Wolff has been instrumental in ensuring it maximised its finally-realised potential after years of underachievement. The 10-year anniversary of Wolff joining Mercedes marks the perfect time to assess his work

Formula 1
Feb 1, 2023
The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate Plus

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Alpine’s signing of Pierre Gasly alongside Esteban Ocon revives memories of a famous all-French line-up, albeit in the red of Ferrari, for BEN EDWARDS. Can the former AlphaTauri man's arrival help the French team on its path back to winning ways in a tribute act to the Prancing Horse's title-winning 1983?

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021? Plus

How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021?

OPINION: A system to score all the grands prix from the past two seasons produces some interesting results and sets a standard that 2023 should surely exceed

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022? Plus

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who was the fastest driver in 2022? Everyone has an opinion, but what does the stopwatch say? Obviously, differing car performance has an effect on ultimate laptime – but it’s the relative speed of each car/driver package that’s fascinating and enlightening says ALEX KALINAUCKAS

Formula 1
Jan 30, 2023
Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return Plus

Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

He has more starts without a podium than anyone else in Formula 1 world championship history, but Nico Hulkenberg is back for one more shot with Haas. After spending three years on the sidelines, the revitalised German is aiming to prove to his new team what the F1 grid has been missing

Formula 1
Jan 29, 2023
The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected Plus

The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected

The late Mauro Forghieri played a key role in Ferrari’s mid-1960s turnaround, says STUART CODLING, and his pretty, intricate 1512 was among the most evocative cars of the 1.5-litre era. But a victim of priorities as Formula 1 was deemed less lucrative than success in sportscars, its true potential was never seen in period

Formula 1
Jan 28, 2023