Max Verstappen's Sunday at the 2022 F1 Australian Grand Prix came to an abrupt end with twenty laps to go. The DNF was reportedly caused by a fuel leak and was not a result of reliability issues as seen in the season opener in Bahrain.
Team boss Christian Horner detailed the issue and what the team is doing to prevent it from recurring, saying:
“Obviously it’s very frustrating to have a DNF on Max’s [Verstappen] car. It looks like a fuel system issue, external to the tank, that has caused the issue. So obviously it’s gone into quarantine, the parts will obviously return to Japan, and we’ll obviously try and understand the problem as quickly as we can.”
Smoke poured out of Max Verstappen's Red Bull, forcing the Dutchman to retire from the race. While he certainly might not have taken home the race win on Sunday, given Charles Leclerc's unmatched race pace, the incident cost him significant championship points. This leaves him in a shocking sixth position on the drivers' standings, behind both Ferrari and Mercedes drivers, as well as his team-mate Sergio Perez.
"We can’t accept DNFs" – Red Bull team boss on Max Verstappen's race in Melbourne
The Red Bull driver was understandably left frustrated, having to end his race in a retirement for the second time this season.
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner revealed that the 24-year-old was unhappy all weekend up to the main race on Sunday, making it understandably worse. He said:
“That was a really disappointing result. We don’t know what the issue is yet but I don’t think it’s engine-related, it seems fuel-related. We can’t accept DNFs, we need to understand the issue and get on top of it. Max hadn’t been happy all weekend with getting the car in the right window. That’s usually the sign you haven’t got the right balance. We have things in the pipeline I think will help, but we need to put this behind us and move on.”
Red Bull still managed to score some strong points this weekend with Sergio Perez's second-place finish behind race leader Charles Leclerc.