Helmut Marko has reflected on a "bitter" Grand Prix in Bahrain that resulted in a double retirement for the Red Bull team, as both Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez met with late technical problems.
Verstappen had been a contender for the victory but appeared to have settled for second behind Ferrari's Charles Leclerc when he encountered a steering wheel issue.
More problems followed, as he radioed in to report a loss of power, which resulted in him slowing to a crawl and heading back to the pits within sight of the chequered flag.
With Perez hanging gamely on for a podium finish, a last-lap failure on his car handed third to Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton.
Marko reflects on "bitter" start for Red Bull
"This is very bitter," Marko sighed, as he spoke to media, including RacingNews365.com, after the race.
"We had hoped to win but, in the race, we couldn't keep up with Ferrari's pace. They were faster in sector two, but we also lost out on the straights to them."
Verstappen had reported a brake issue from quite early on in the race, which Marko explained required constant management.
"We also had brake problems, which forced us to slow ourselves," he said.
"Then we underestimated the undercut. If Max had driven a normal outlap, he would have been in front of Leclerc. If you are ahead, the world suddenly looks very different."
Verstappen's race comes to naught
But, even if Verstappen had managed to claim the lead, it would have ended in disappointment due to the - as of yet unconfirmed - technical issue that took the reigning World Champion out of the race.
"The worst [part] is, of course, the double failure of both cars. At the end, there was something with the fuel supply. But what went wrong? We don't know," Marko continued.
In what was a troubled race throughout for Red Bull, Marko also talked through the power steering problem that Verstappen experienced.
"Something went wrong at Verstappen's pit-stop and something was damaged," he said.
"He had to use a lot of strength when turning in, and he knew how to manage it, but then he had problems with the battery, or so Max thought – it turned out to be the fuel supply."
While Verstappen's issues accumulated over a longer period of time, Perez's were much more instantaneous.
"With Max, they had announced themselves, in a way, about a lap and a half before that," added Marko.
"With Perez, we thought the problem had stabilised, but, suddenly, he had no power anymore – it was not his fault."
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Marko keen to bounce back in Saudi Arabia
While Bahrain may have been a race to forget for Marko and Red Bull, he explained that there's no panic within the team.
"It's the first race," he was keen to point out.
"It's great that Ferrari is in such a good position. We clearly have some work to do, but the World Championship is not decided!"
With just a week until the next race, which will be in Saudi Arabia, Marko said there will be intensive work at Red Bull to get on top of their issues.
"The base of the car is good for this season," he commented.
"But we have to investigate the many small problems that we have. In the next few days, we have to put our heads together. Getting angry won't help."
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