F1: Worstapen says failure to finish Australian Grand Prix ‘unacceptable’

F1 Max Verstappen Australian Grand Prix

Max Verstappen (L), the Dutch driver of the Red Bull, looks at his car during the 2022 Formula One Australian Grand Prix at the Albert Park Circuit in Melbourne on April 10, 2022. (Photo by William West / AFP)

A frustrated world champion Max Verstappen said it was “unacceptable” that he was unable to finish the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday when his Red Bull collapsed when he was scheduled to finish second.

It was the second time in the first three races of the season that the Dutchman had failed to cover the distance, even after retiring to Bahrain.

“We are far behind (Ferrari). We have to finish the race, ”Verstappen said after being pulled to 58 off 39 by Albert Park when the winner ran second from Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari.

“I can smell some weird liquid,” Worstapen reported on Tim Radio before stopping the car, jumping out and grabbing a fire extinguisher to help the marshals put out the fire.

“Today was a bad day. I was handling tires. I couldn’t fight Charles,” he added.

“It was a simple P2 but we couldn’t finish the race – frustrating and unacceptable. These kinds of things are unacceptable if you want to fight for the title.”

Verstappen was not happy all weekend, complaining after being second with the balance of his car.

“I didn’t feel comfortable in one lap without a long run,” he said.

The 24-year-old also cried after organizers reduced the number of Drag Reduction System (DRS) zones from four to three for safety reasons.

The DRS allows drivers to open a flap attached to the rear wing within a second of the front of the vehicle to maximize speed and assist in overtaking.

The Red Bull seemed to be more straightforward than the Ferrari, so more DRS zones were in their favor.

The head of the team, Christian Horner, said he could understand Worstapen’s dissatisfaction.

“It’s completely understandable, his frustration,” he told reporters. “It simply came to our notice then.

“We still don’t know what the problem is. I don’t think it was actually engine-related. I think it could be a fuel problem. But we have to get the car back. We have to see exactly what happened.”

For Sergio Perez, the second-placed Red Bull, it wasn’t all devastation. However, he was more than 20 seconds behind Leclerc.

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