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Verstappen's Aussie GP Dream Ends in Smoke

Verstappen’s Aussie GP Dream Ends in Smoke

24/03/2024

In a shocking twist at the Australian Grand Prix, Max Verstappen’s quest for a 10th consecutive win ends abruptly due to a critical brake issue.

The Australian Grand Prix ended swiftly for Max Verstappen. The Red Bull Racing driver was aiming for his 10th consecutive victory but remains on 51 points in the world championship.

What caused the 26-year-old Dutchman’s retirement in Australia?

After three laps, smoke was seen trailing from Verstappen’s RB20. Initially, it was unclear whether the issue stemmed from the engine or the brakes, but shortly after, it was determined that the right rear braking system had failed.

Red Bull confirmed it was a rear brake issue, but it remains uncertain whether it was a malfunction, a team preparation error, sheer bad luck (blocked duct), or something else.

Television footage captured an irate Verstappen reacting while Paul Monaghan spoke to him.

When giving his immediate reaction, Verstappen did not have an explanation but revealed he felt the issue from the start, ruling out a blocked duct.

“From what we can see from the data so far, as soon as the lights went out, the right rear brake was stuck.”

“This just caused damage and it kept increasing, so it was essentially driving with some sort of handbrake on.”

“That’s why the car was really odd to drive in certain corners, just very snappy, whereas in the laps on the grid, the car was really perfect and I was happy with what we were doing.”

“But if a brake is stuck, that doesn’t help.”

“I think something went wrong right from the start,” Verstappen added.

“In the data, we could also see that the right side brake stopped cooling. We still don’t know exactly why but something went wrong.”

“That’s also why there was a hot moment in the third corner, where I braked and it seemed like a brake was stuck and it just broke like that in my opinion.”

In the first lap, the problem wasn’t too penalizing yet.

“The very first lap, the brakes were still quite cold, but you can see that the brake worked normally again. You brake and then it cools down normally again, then this right brake didn’t cool down anymore.”

“I was behind Sainz, I could have overtaken him again, but then the car locked up again at turn six. I nearly made a mistake there. It’s quite clear there was something wrong.”

Was there a mistake somewhere?

“We don’t know at the moment. We’re going to check everything to see where it came from. It’s always mechanical sport, things like this can always happen. It’s disappointing because we had a chance to win today.”

Verstappen’s Aussie GP Dream Ends in Smoke. Verstappen’s Aussie GP Dream Ends in Smoke

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