Max Verstappen did not attend the mandatory press interviews in the media ring after his retirement from the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, his frustration after a fourth DNF due to engine issues is clearly aggravating the teenager’s tolerance level and the fact that his Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo won the race simply added insult to injury.
In an interview on his website he was asked how he felt watching the Australian celebrate, Verstappen was brutally honest, “It was heartbreaking to watch, looking at the position he came from, you can figure what could have been.”
Verstappen explained why he skipped the media debrief, “I just didn’t feel like to at that moment. I stayed for another half an hour at the circuit and discussed with my engineers what I thought of the race regarding the car and the balance. After that I left.”
As for the cause of the failure, he said, “They are still looking into that. In any case, a new engine needs to be installed, because I think this one has been written off.”
Up to the point where his engine failed, Verstappen was in a fierce battle with Sergio Perez for third place, “During the race I hadn’t actually thought about it, until you suddenly run into a problem again.”
“It is extremely disappointing, all the more when you’re in such a good position and you drop out again. Even more so when you look back at all that happened.”
“On Saturday we ran into problems as well. From all the drivers running with a Renault engine, I was the only one that had to tone down mine. It’s a shame and a bit weird, but it is what it is.
“There is nothing wrong with the car. We were pleasantly surprised in Baku. The performance of the car may be improving, but I still want to score some points for once. The mechanics are also troubled by this. They’re working flat out to get this car in shape. And they are all of course very unhappy when there is an issue with it.”
With the disappointment of Baku behind him, Verstappen is nevertheless upbeat about his chances at his team’s home circuit – the Red Bull Ring.
Can he win the race? “For sure. All the more when you see that our pace is reasonably well the whole year round, but we are still unable to score some points. They expect me to do my best, I in turn expect Red Bull and Renault to keep things working.”
“The engine won’t break down there!” added Verstappen with a grin.