Red Bull’s ‘brutal’ double retirement is ‘extremely painful’, says Verstappen, as team reveal cause of Bahrain’s problems

Red Bull had been set for a big points haul since the 2022 season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix. But it all started to go wrong with three laps to go as Max Verstappen and then Sergio Perez dropped out race.

Defending champion Verstappen had battled valiantly with eventual winner Charles Leclerc for much of the race, but appeared to be content with second place when he began to complain of steering and steering block issues. feeding on his Red Bull RB18.

READ MORE: Leclerc leads 1-2 for Ferrari at Bahrain GP as both Red Bulls suffer late retirements

Passed by the Ferrari of third-placed Carlos Sainz on lap 54 of 57 – who had nearly passed an ailing Verstappen in a safety car restart three laps earlier – Verstappen’s troubles then proved terminal, the Dutchman retiring from the race.

Team-mate Sergio Perez then added to Red Bull’s woes by losing his own P3 on the final lap, with the Mexican retiring at Turn 1, capping a miserable day for the reigning Drivers’ Championship-winning team.

“I mean, what happened at the end is obviously very frustrating, but of course before that quite a few problems,” Verstappen said at the end of Sunday. “First, the balance was upset. I didn’t have the same feelings as Friday on the long stints, so it was a little disappointing.

WATCH: Leclerc and Verstappen engage in a frantic duel for the lead in Sakhir

“Then suddenly my steering, I don’t know what happened to that, it was just completely locked out and the faster I went I could barely steer. So it wasn’t easy for the relaunch to get defend against Carlos.

2022 Bahrain Grand Prix: Verstappen retires after dramatic car breakdown

“But I was still second with this big problem, so you think, okay, with all these problems I had today, second would be a good result. And then suddenly I had to pull out, it all shut off. It sounded like a fuel pump or some problem, there was no fuel getting to the engine. Of course, those things, you don’t want them to happen and that’s it. “It’s also very painful for the team that both cars drop out. We have to look at everything.”

Asked if he had mixed emotions given his high pace throughout the weekend, Verstappen replied: “I think at the end the biggest problem is that we didn’t scored no points with a competitive car. And of course on days when you have little issues or you’re not entirely happy with the balance you have to consolidate and score points and what we did today is of course extremely painful.

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Perez, too, was understandably dejected, having lost the chance of a podium finish in Verstappen’s absence – the Mexican’s retirement handing Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton third place.

“I was very unhappy,” Perez said. “I lost the engine, just locked the rears completely out and couldn’t do anything. Sounds like a very similar issue to Max’s.

“I’m definitely disappointed but we’re a solid team and it’s a long season ahead of us, we just have to keep working as hard as we can and next weekend is another opportunity.”

2022 Bahrain Grand Prix: Pérez loses third place to Hamilton after late rotation

Speaking after the race, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner revealed the team’s initial investigations into their technical issues, telling Sky Sports F1: “It looks like a similar issue on both cars. . We don’t know exactly what it is yet, if it’s a sump pump, manifold or something like that, but we need to look into it and figure out exactly what it is. because.

“The problem of management [on Max’s car] This was when the car was dropped at the last stop, we believe it modified a steering rod, which is why it was slightly different from left to right.

AS IT HAPPENED: Follow all the action from the 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix

“It was an abrupt end for us,” added Horner. “What looked like a good points haul for us evaporated in the last two laps there.”

Brutal indeed – but Red Bull will at least have the chance to get going again in just a week’s time, when F1 lands in Jeddah for the second Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

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