Max Verstappen has suffered two reliability-induced retirements in the first three rounds of the 2022 Formula 1 season.
Red Bull advisor Dr. Helmut Marko has revealed that the mechanical failure Max Verstappen suffered at the Australian Grand Prix was unrelated to the one he had in Bahrain.
The Honda-manufactured Red Bull powertrains have endured a tough start to the 2022 season, with six failures occurring over the first three races between Red Bull and AlphaTauri.
Verstappen was running a comfortable second behind Charles Leclerc when he smelled something strange emanating from the back of his Red Bull in Melbourne, and he ground to a halt shortly after that.
The Milton Keynes side sent the engine back to Japan to be examined by Honda after team principal Christian Horner posited that the issue might have been fuel-related, and Dr. Marko confirms that it was.
“We were able to clarify the cause of the fuel leak in Max’s car,” he said, as quoted by RacingNews365.com.
Therefore, it is distinguishable from the vacuum problem both Verstappen and team-mate Sergio Perez retired from in the season’s opening round. The Austrian indicates that it is likely also more complicated.
“The matter is very complex. The problem is different from that of Bahrain,” Dr. Marko added.
The Dutchman was running a considerable margin behind Leclerc, with Red Bull seemingly unable to find any comeback to the imperious pace of the Scuderia. Coupled with wretched
reliability in the early going this season, it leaves the reigning world champion with doubts about whether he can defend his title.