Max Verstappen Is Unhappy His Car Didn't Work Once

red bull racings dutch driver max verstappen l stands in their garages after being knocked out during the qualifying session of the saudi arabia formula one grand prix at the jeddah corniche circuit in jeddah on march 18, 2023 photo by luca bruno pool afp photo by luca brunopoolafp via getty images
Max Verstappen Is Unhappy His Car Didn't Work OnceLUCA BRUNO

Red Bull's F1 car, the RB19, is leagues quicker than any other car on the grid. Impressive, especially since Red Bull cried wolf ahead of the season. The team told fans and competition that a loss of wind tunnel time—a penalty they'd earned for breaking Formula 1's cost cap in 2022—might dramatically affect the car's pace. But just two races into this Formula 1 season, the RB19 has claimed two wins and two poles. In fact, the car has led nearly every timed session since the season began.

At the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Verstappen's car suffered a driveshaft failure during qualifying, which relegated him to 15th on the grid. He still fought back to finish second, a huge effort after what was a decidedly rare failure. As you'd expect of any driver, Verstappen wasn't happy, even if the team feels pretty good about the season so far. He voiced his opinion, loud and clear:

"And now again, after three positive practice sessions (in Jeddah) where then of course, I have an issue in qualifying. Of course, I recovered to second, which is good. And in general, the whole feeling in the team, everyone is happy but personally, I’m not happy. Because I’m not here to be second, especially when you are working very hard also back at the factory to make sure that you arrive here in a good state, and basically making sure that everything is spot on."


Verstappen added that Red Bull "has to do better" with reliability. Now, it's true. Verstappen is a racing driver and he is on the grid to win titles, as he's proven his entire career. Thing is, we're two races into the season, and this was an out-of-the-ordinary failure. Not a sign of something terminally wrong with the car. In 2022, the Red Bulls were a nightmare at the beginning of the season, with both cars suffering race-ending failures in the opener and the third race, the Australian GP, once again saw Verstappen suffer another issue and retire. That season ended with Verstappen a runaway champion, setting a record for the number of races won in a season. And while it's understandable that Verstappen doesn't want to give up points to his teammate, Sergio Perez, he doesn't really need to worry about a threat from within the team. Perez is fast, but he's not up to Verstappen's level of speed.

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