Max Verstappen has called on Red Bull to continue to focus on the reliability issues that have hampered their 2022 championship campaign. The reigning World Champion's fortunes have oscillated in the opening five races of the year. Despite Verstappen's victories in Saudi Arabia, Imola and Miami, retirements in Bahrain and Australia have resulted in a 19-point deficit in the Drivers' Championship to Ferrari's Charles Leclerc. The race-winning weekend at the Miami International Autodrome also suffered an early setback with hydraulics issues in Friday practice, which threatened to reduce his chances of victory. Verstappen's Red Bull teammate, Sergio Perez, also suffered a sensor issue partway through the race en route to fourth place, hampering his efforts to take the final podium position.
Technical problems still hurting Verstappen and Red Bull
Speaking after the race in Miami, Verstappen was keen to reiterate his desire for the team to solve the technical dramas that could falter a championship challenge. "We're still having a few issues that we have to solve," Verstappen told media, including RacingNews365.com . "We are quick but, as you could see, my Friday was terrible, which is not great if you want to have a good weekend. "Also Checo [Perez] had a few issues in the race, so we have to be on top of that. "Clearly there is a lot of potential and we just need to make sure it's reliable."
Verstappen preferring speed over reliability, but targeting "issue-free" weekends
Verstappen was quick to emphasise that the lack of Friday running would have been a factor if he had failed to win in Miami. However, the Dutchman was buoyed by the performance of the car, and reiterated that his preference was primarily for pace over reliability. "From my side, I had a lot of issues on Friday, which compromises your weekend," added Verstappen. "Of course, everything went well with the start of the race, but it also could have been the other way around. "We just have to nail down a really positive weekend without issues. I think in Imola we had that, but it's still a bit hit-or-miss too much. "As you can see, the car is quick, and I'm very happy about that. If we were to be slow and reliable, that's probably not a good thing."