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Verstappen: Red Bull still too "hit and miss" with issues despite Miami F1 win

Max Verstappen has called on his Red Bull team to iron out its operational issues after winning the Miami Grand Prix despite several issues across the weekend.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18

Red Bull Content Pool

While Red Bull's 2022 on-track performance has hit a new high, Verstappen defeating Ferrari's polesitter Charles Leclerc by virtue of better top speed and tyre management on Sunday, the Milton Keynes outfit continued to suffer from various problems across the weekend.

After being limited to 14 laps in FP1, Verstappen only completed one lap of Friday FP2 when first a gearbox change caused him to miss the start, only for a fresh hydraulics issue to keep him in the garage again.

Team-mate Sergio Perez looked set to benefit from a late tyre switch under the safety car, but a power loss on his Honda engine meant he couldn't pass the second Ferrari of Carlos Sainz for third, despite the Spaniard being stuck on old hard tyres.

Red Bull came to Miami after a near flawless weekend in Imola where it took a dominant 1-2 win. But previously both cars retired from Bahrain's season opener and Verstappen suffered another retirement in Australia.

While Verstappen leading Leclerc 3-2 in wins after five races is an ominous sign of the team's competitiveness, the Dutchman's two DNFs meant he should have been in the lead of the championship rather than trailing Leclerc by 19 points.

Speaking after the race, Verstappen urged his team to find a way to regularly repeat Imola's trouble-free weekend, acknowledging the team's operations are "still hit and miss too much".

"On my side I had a lot of issues on Friday, which compromises your weekend, and especially yesterday," Verstappen said.

"Of course, today everything went well with the start, but it also could have been the other way around. And then you of course can say like, well, fair enough, because if you missed almost a whole Friday, what can you do about it?

"We just have to nail down a really positive weekend without issues. I think of course, Imola, we had that, but it's still a bit of a hit and miss too much, so we just have to make sure that we are more reliable and more on top of things."

"But as you can see the car is quick. I'm very happy about that, I mean, if you would be slow and reliable, that's probably also not a good thing."

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing Team Principal

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing Team Principal

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

When quizzed about the repeated issues by Autosport, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner refuted suggestions that the RB18 is particularly fragile and explained the team's reliability woes were down to "niggly things" that he is confident will be ironed out.

"I don't think the car particularly fragile. I think there's just been niggly things that you would have normally seen in pre-season testing that have only reared their head as we've got into the season," Horner said.

"That's been frustrating but, you know, we're working closely with HRC [Honda] and they're giving us great support, so I think we will get those ironed out."

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