Max Verstappen retired on Sunday in the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at the Albert Park Circuit with technical problems. The Dutchman, who started second, drove almost the entire race in second place behind Charles Leclerc, the Monegask won the third race of the Formula 1 season with flying colors
F1 Australian Grand Prix 2022: Charles Leclerc dominant to victory
However, on lap 39 Verstappen encountered technical problems and was forced to park his RB18 next to the track, which meant that Max did not reach the finish flag for the second time this season. Charles Leclerc rode dominantly to his second win of the season. Behind the Monegask, Sergio Perez finished in P2, while George Russell took his first podium in the service of Mercedes in third place.
After the race, a disappointed Max says: “It’s just bad. I don’t know what to make of it right now, but there’s a lot of work to be done. I don’t know what the problem is yet. We’ll get the car back in a minute and then we’ll see. But, overall it just wasn’t a good day today because we didn’t have a chance. We didn’t really have the speed and we had too much wear on both tire compounds, so I had to manage my tires a lot more to finish the race. Nevertheless, it seemed to be an easy P2. I knew I couldn’t attack Charles so there was no point in trying to put the pressure on him, but in the end we didn’t even finish, so it’s very frustrating and unacceptable.”
Just before the race started, the Oracle Red Bull Racing mechanics were still working on Max’s RB18, so that the breakdown did not come completely out of the blue: “I knew there was a problem”, says Max. “It was already a question mark if we could finish the race, but if you want to fight for the title, things like this shouldn’t happen.”
Verstappen’s second retirement this season has caused a major blow to his title aspirations, although Max doesn’t want to think about it yet: “I don’t even want to think about the championship fight right now. It is much more important to finish races. We’ve been out twice in three games so we’re already way behind.”