"Gutted" Verstappen explains media no show

27/06/2017
NEWS STORY

Following his fourth DNF of the season, three of them down to technical issues and two of those engine related, Max Verstappen was in no mood to face the media after Sunday's race.

Missing the 'bull pen' interviews following his retirement was to cost the youngster 25,000 euros, but talking to Dutch TV show Peptalk on Monday, Verstappen insisted it was the right move.

"I didn't really feel like it at that moment," he admitted. "I stayed at the track for half an hour to talk about the race and the balance of the car with my engineers and then I left. I thought it was the smartest thing to do."

Until his retirement on lap 10, the teenager was running fourth, and in the wake of how the afternoon was to play out, not least his teammate coming from the back of the field (17th) following an unscheduled early pit stop to win, Verstappen has every right to feel cheated.

"During the race I wasn't thinking about reliability and then suddenly I had a problem again," he said. "It's really gutting to drop out again when you're in such a good position and if you look at what happened afterwards...

"The team is still looking into the problem," he confirmed. "It's definitely something with the engine. On Saturday during qualifying I had to tune the engine down as well as the only Renault runner. That was pretty odd. But now the engine is done so we can put a new one in."

Despite losing further ground to his rivals in the standings, and with the Force India duo hot on his heels, it isn't all bad for for the Dutchman.

I think we were positively surprised in Baku," he said. "The car was doing well... but I really want to score points. In terms of outright speed the whole year has been quite good, but in terms of scoring points it really hasn't.

"The team expects me to do my best and I expect everything is perfect from Red Bull and the engine as well," he added. "It's very tough. This was an engine problem and, unfortunately, not the first time."

Needless to say, as Ricciardo took victory and Verstappen suffered yet another DNF, there were the usual media conspiracies on social media.

"Absolutely not," he said, in response to accusations of favouritism within the team towards his teammate. "If you look at how hard the guys work day and night to make the car work perfectly, then they're really gutted as well when it breaks down."

Looking ahead to the team's home race in Austria, the youngster showed that despite his trials and tribulations he hasn't lost his sense of humour.

"On Wednesday I'll be in the simulator," he revealed, "at least there the engine can't break down."

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Published: 27/06/2017
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