You’ve got to feel a bit for the Red Bull team. A decent showing all weekend and some great battles with Ferrari all culminating in no points for the weekend. What happened?
After putting his Red Bull into the second spot, reigning champion Max Verstappen was set for an epic battle with the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc during the first race of the 2022 Formula 1 season at Bahrain.
Backing up the Dutchman from 4th, split by the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz Jnr, Sergio Perez was also set to give Formula 1 fans an exciting opening to the 2022 season.
However while they had back and forth tussles with the Ferrari’s all race and fended off the challenges of Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes, ultimately mechanical issues would end both of the Red Bull drivers races with Perez losing power on the final lap just as it looked like he could hold off Lewis Hamilton to keep the bottom step.
Verstappen appeared to blow up on team radio when they couldn’t give him an answer as to why the car was having issues but was more diplomatic when asked about the race weekend.
“We were feeling quite competitive throughout the weekend so the result today was very unfortunate for us. The problems started initially with the brakes, they were overheating so I had to lift off and as a result I lost pace and had to let Charles go.”
“After that, there were still a few issues with car balance and after my final pit stop my steering wheel was locked. That made it very difficult to drive so defending from Carlos at the re-start wasn’t easy. The final issue looked like a fuel system problem, which is why I had to retire and it was extremely painful for both our cars to DNF.”
“We don’t know exactly what went wrong yet but we’ll definitely analyse the data and make sure we learn from it. At the end of the day, motorsport is unpredictable and these things can happen, this is race one, we have plenty more ahead of us.”
Team Principal and CEO Christian Horner while disappointed about the result, pointed out the pace of the car and the close racing between Max and Charles.
“Obviously we are hugely disappointed to lose the chance of podium finishes today, but congratulations to Ferrari on their one, two finish and a return to the front.”
“We will need to conduct a full investigation into what happened, but it looks suspiciously like the failures are related to each other and it may be an issue with the fuel system. The positive side for us is that we clearly have a competitive car, I don’t think we quite had the pace today, but there was some great racing between Max and Charles. It’s an incredibly long season with 22 races remaining, so we need to get on top of whatever this issue was today and come back stronger next weekend.”
Formula 1 heads to Saudi Arabia next for the 2nd of 22 races in the 2022 season calendar.