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Christian Horner

Horner confirms cause of Verstappen retirement

Max Verstappen retired early from the Australian Grand Prix and Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has confirmed the issue at fault.

Sainz Verstappen Australia
To news overview © XPBimages

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has confirmed Max Verstappen's Australian Grand Prix retirement was caused by a brake issue.

The three-time world champion lasted only a matter of laps after being overtaken by eventual race-winner Carlos Sainz's Ferrari, with smoke emerging from the right-rear corner of his RB20.

Smoke quickly turned to flames as Verstappen slowed out of turns nine and 10, with debris scattered at the penultimate corner and the pit-lane entry following an explosion of the carbon-fibre brake shroud known as the 'cake tin'.

Verstappen's retirement was the first mechanical failure for Red Bull since the same event two years ago. Speaking to Sky Sports F1, Horner confirmed: "It's a brake issue.

"It looks like the brake has bound on pretty much from the start of the race and that's why Max described it as like having a handbrake, which caused him to have a couple of moments.

"Then, of course, the head is building and building and building, then the result is a fire.

"We have got all the bits back now, going through all the damage and we will go through and understand what caused it."

'A matter of understanding'

Verstappen was audibly and visibly frustrated when retiring from the race, despite his incredible dominance over the F1 field in the past 18 months.

Addressing the initial annoyance, Horner explained: "Obviously a driver is going to be frustrated when he gets out of a car from a retirement.

"But he's been very gracious with the team and all the mechanics. We are all one team and that DNF hurts everyone in the same way.

"So it's a matter of learning from it. We've had two years of no mechanical DNFs, which has been remarkable.

"It is a matter of understanding what's caused it, learning from it and moving on.

"It is remarkable after three races that he is still leading the world championship even with that DNF but a lot of lessons to take."

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