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Max Verstappen worried by Red Bull reliability despite title momentum vs Ferrari and Charles Leclerc

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Max Verstappen has won three out of five races this season – but DNF in the other two and so still trails Charles Leclerc in the championship; Verstappen says Red Bull have ‘issues to solve’ as he looks ahead to Spanish GP, live on Sky Sports F1 on May 22

Last Updated: 10/05/22 5:03pm


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Max Verstappen admits Red Bull reliability issues are the main concern as they hope to bridge the points gap to Ferrari.

Max Verstappen admits Red Bull reliability issues are the main concern as they hope to bridge the points gap to Ferrari.

Max Verstappen says Red Bull still have “issues to solve” if they are to beat Ferrari and Charles Leclerc to this year’s Formula 1 titles, calling on his team to improve despite their back-to-back victories.

Verstappen is for many now the favourite to defend his F1 crown this year after winning both the Emilia Romagna and Miami GPs in impressive fashion, comfortably outpacing Leclerc in the race on both occasions.

Those triumphs continue Verstappen’s record of having won every race he has finished this season, but the Dutchman, while embracing a fast car, is also concerned about the team’s reliability issues.

Although it ultimately didn’t impact his finishing result, after Sunday’s race Verstappen highlighted his “terrible” disrupted Friday in Miami as he suffered with a hydraulic leak, following on from DNFs in Bahrain and Australia.

“We’re still having a few issues we have to solve,” said Verstappen, whose team-mate Sergio Perez had engine issues in the race. “We are quick, but my Friday was terrible… which is not great if you want to have a good weekend.

Sky Sports' Karun Chandhok takes a closer look at how Max Verstappen clinched victory in the Miami GP.

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Sky Sports’ Karun Chandhok takes a closer look at how Max Verstappen clinched victory in the Miami GP.

Sky Sports’ Karun Chandhok takes a closer look at how Max Verstappen clinched victory in the Miami GP.

“And also Checo had a few issues in the race, so we have to be on top of that. But clearly there is a lot of potential, we just need to make sure it’s reliable.”

Speaking to Sky Sports F1, Verstappen admitted his 2022 season should be “even better” and added: “We have to make sure these things don’t happen… of course, we are working on them flat out.”

Verstappen had said after Saturday’s qualifying – where he only managed third – that Red Bull “cannot afford” to suffer more unreliability if they are going to overhaul Ferrari and Leclerc, whose title leads have been cut.

Max Verstappen made his way to the podium in style with a police escort in Miami!

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Max Verstappen made his way to the podium in style with a police escort in Miami!

Max Verstappen made his way to the podium in style with a police escort in Miami!

“We just have to nail down a really positive weekend without issues,” he continued.

“I think of course, Imola, we had that, but it’s still a bit of a hit and miss too much. So we just have to make sure that we are more reliable and more on top of things.

“But as you can see the car is quick. I’m very happy about that, I mean, if you would be slow and reliable, that’s probably also not a good thing!”

Horner acknowledges Red Bull issues but happy with speed

Verstappen didn’t have a reliability issue in the Miami GP, though team-mate Perez did.

Perez suffered with engine gremlins through the race – causing him to lose power and perhaps costing him a chance of a win as he was stuck in fourth despite fitting fresh tyres after the Safety Car.

“Of course reliability is going to be an issue,” Red Bull boss Christian Horner told Sky Sports F1.

Max Verstappen is now leading the Miami GP with a nice manoeuvre on Charles Leclerc

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Max Verstappen is now leading the Miami GP with a nice manoeuvre on Charles Leclerc

Max Verstappen is now leading the Miami GP with a nice manoeuvre on Charles Leclerc

“We had a sensor issue on Checo’s engine and the guys did well to move them around but he lost about 30 horsepower with that.

“He was losing half a second a lap.”

Horner, however, believes Red Bull are heading in the right direction – with their straight-line speed particularly impressive.

“We saw in Imola how quickly things can change around and we have some interesting races coming up and the car is running well,” he stated.

“We have some developments coming later in the summer which will help, we need to drop some weight but generally, I think we are on a good trajectory.”

The Formula 1 season continues with the Spanish GP from Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya. You can watch all the action live on Sky Sports F1 from May 20-22.



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