Verstappen worried Red Bull reliability could impact title fight

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Verstappen worried Red Bull reliability could impact title fight

Formula 1

Verstappen worried Red Bull reliability could impact title fight


Max Verstappen says Red Bull needs to ensure it gives both of its drivers the chance to fight for the championship without reliability issues after his recent concerns in Saudi Arabia.

Sergio Perez took pole position and won in Jeddah after Verstappen had been unable to set a time in the second part of qualifying and started from 15th place. The Dutchman recovered to second but couldn’t catch his teammate, and while he’s hoping Red Bull enjoys the current advantage over the field deep into the season he’s wary of how reliability could hurt the chances of either himself or Perez.

“I hope (Red Bull can maintain the gap) for a long time,” Verstappen said. “But it’s not only about the pace of the car: we need to make sure we are reliable without any issues. I mean, my first weekend was not very clean, because of just the big balance shift from testing to the race weekend, some other things which are going on in the background.

“And now again, after three positive practice sessions (in Jeddah) where then of course, I have an issue in qualifying. Of course, I recovered to second, which is good. And in general, the whole feeling in the team, everyone is happy but personally, I’m not happy. Because I’m not here to be second, especially when you are working very hard also back at the factory to make sure that you arrive here in a good state, and basically making sure that everything is spot on.

“And then you have to do a recovery race, which I like – I mean, I don’t mind doing it – but when you’re fighting for a championship and especially when it looks like it’s just between two cars, we have to make sure that also the two cars are reliable.”

With Verstappen adding that Red Bull “has to do better” when it comes to reliability, Perez admits he’s had his own concerns over the opening two rounds.

“Well, reliability is where it is,” Perez said. “We saw it with Aston Martin (in Saudi Arabia). It’s going to hit us at some point but obviously we need to keep working on that, we need to have the issue (limited) whenever we can. We were in a lucky position in Bahrain but otherwise if we had to push to the end, we probably wouldn’t make the race so there are a lot of reliability concerns at the moment but hopefully they don’t hit us anytime soon.”