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Max Verstappen on the "tragic" speed deficit for Red Bull.

NEWS STORY
12/07/2018

Verstappen Felt Like He Was Racing in a Different Series

Max Verstappen voiced his concerns about the potential power problems for Red Bull after failing to make a definite impact in the qualifiers. Despite the upgrade, the Renault power unit was simply no match for Mercedes and Ferrari. Verstappen told reporters that he was missing around 80bhp which would make for a difficult weekend. Those who had thought of backing him in the race should have perhaps looked at AFL Premiership betting instead!

Verstappen was actually fairly happy with his performance in the qualifiers and the team did have a surprise victory in Austria. This was possibly enough to give Verstappen a fighting chance, at least mentally on Sunday. Now that the British Grand Prix is done and dusted, Verstappen has spoken out on the seriousness of power problem. Describing Red Bull's straight-line speed deficit as "tragic" he admitted it was like driving in a completely different series, something more akin to a Formula 2 race.

Verstappen eventually had to retire from the race on Sunday after picking up a bake-by-wire failure. Earlier on in the race though, we as involved in a hard-fought battle with Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen. In the earlier stages of the race, he and his Red Bull teammate, Daniel Ricciardo trailed the frontrunners of Ferrari and Mercedes by a significant margin. Even when the safety cars were brought out much later, the interruption offered them little chance to take on the leaders.

Speaking to the press, Verstappen said he has was able to manage the tyres the entire way through the race. According to him, the cars were super-slow in the straights anyway, so any strategy was welcomed. He said he tried to do a one-stop but it didn't really work, and he was lucky the safety car came out when it did. In the future, the performance (or lack thereof) of the car may become a useful bit of sports trivia, but for now, it is causing issues.

Mercedes and Ferrari Superior on Speed

After the first safety car, Verstappen make a move on Kimi. He said that although the opportunity was there, it was incredibly frustrating just how much power they were lacking on the straights. He described it as "a real bummer". The final two safety cars set up what ended up being a 10-lap sprint to the finish. This is when it became abundantly clear that both Mercedes and Ferrari had the edge over Red Bull.

According to Verstappen, the problem was made even worse by "clipping" where the energy recovery system of the engine failed to deploy properly. This was happening throughout the race he said. Venting his frustration, Verstappen said that although the team tried to adjust to the power problems on-track, there was just nothing there to work with.

After experiencing the lack of power and problems with clipping, he was braking hard at turn 16 when he lost the entire brake pedal. This caused the rear wheels to lock-up altogether and he spun off the track. Verstappen tried to drive away again, but could not get out of first gear.

According to Red Bull's Christian Horner, the problem resulted from a break-by-wire failure which triggered damage to the clutch. This is why he was unable to use the gears. Verstappen had noticed the brake-by-wire problem earlier in the race but it had apparently gone away.

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