Christian Horner bemoans Red Bull’s ‘brutal’ double retirement at disastrous Bahrain GP

Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez both endured dramatic late retirements in the season-opening race

Lewis Hamilton changing name to include mother Carmen’s surname

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner bemoaned the “brutal finish” to Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix that saw both Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez forced to retire from the race with just two laps remaining.

Verstappen, in his first race since claiming the world championship, was seemingly set for a second-place finish after a close battle with Charles Leclerc before steering issues and a power failure forced him to exit down the pit lane.

It left Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez desperately trying to hold off Lewis Hamilton but the Mexican’s rear wheels then locked, causing him to spin at Turn 1 and condemning Red Bull to a disastrous result.

The two issues appeared related and although Horner said it was too early to make any definitive conclusions, he suspected the problem was related to the fuel system.

“A brutal finish to that race for us,” Horner told Sky Sports F1. “What looked like a decent haul of points suddenly evaporated in the last couple of laps.

“It looks like a similar issue on both cars. We don’t know exactly what it is yet, whether it was the lift pump, whether it’s the collector or something along those lines.

“But we’ve got to get into it and understand exactly what’s caused it.”

Horner did stress that Verstappen’s earlier steering issue wasn’t related and had in fact most likely been caused during the Dutchman’s final pit stop.

“No, totally disconnect that. The steering issue was when the car got dropped after the final stop,” he said.

“I think it’s tweaked a track-rod, so that’s why it was slightly different left to right.”

Verstappen was left bitterly disappointed by the result, which allowed Hamilton to snatch a third-place finish behind the two Ferraris, however, Horner insisted there were still positives to take from the opening weekend.

“We’ve got a car that has qualified on the front row, that has fought with Charles for the win,” he said.

“We didn’t quite have the pace to [match Ferrari]. We have to get a bit more performance, we have to sort that reliability and Jeddah…totally different type of venue to here.”

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