Horner Reacts to Verstappen DNF: Compares to Handbrake Being On

Max Verstappen retired from the Australian Grand Prix due to a brake problem, marking Red Bull’s first DNF in two years, while teammate Sergio Perez finished fifth after suffering floor damage, as Red Bull Racing team boss Christian Horner expressed disappointment and praised Carlos Sainz‘s victory.


‣ Max Verstappen experienced his first DNF in two years due to a brake problem at the Australian Grand Prix, as noted by Red Bull Racing team boss Christian Horner.

‣ Sergio Perez finished P5 in the RB20, with Horner mentioning that Perez had floor damage which affected his pace and resulted in losing second place in the championship to Charles Leclerc.

‣ Horner praised Carlos Sainz’s performance at the Grand Prix, highlighting his strong race post-appendix operation and acknowledging the competitive closeness of the field.

Max Verstappen’s luck ran out at the Australian Grand Prix, marking his first retirement in two years. Ironically, the same event witnessed his last withdrawal, both times due to technical glitches. Red Bull’s head honcho, Christian Horner, shared his thoughts on this setback and Sergio Perez’s performance, who secured a fifth-place finish in his RB20.

### Horner on Verstappen’s Early Exit
Horner kicked things off by discussing Verstappen’s abrupt end on lap three, thanks to a brake issue. “That brake problem? Super disappointing,” he lamented. It seemed like Verstappen was battling his car from the get-go, with Horner comparing it to driving with the handbrake pulled. “Ending our two-year streak without a DNF like this is just frustrating,” he admitted during a chat with Viaplay.

Perez’s efforts to pick up the slack for Red Bull fell short. Despite starting sixth due to a grid penalty, he only managed to climb one spot. This slip meant waving goodbye to his second place in the championship standings, overtaken by Charles Leclerc. Horner hinted at floor damage on Perez’s car as a possible culprit for his lackluster speed.

### Perez’s Struggle
“The floor damage was a real downer, stripping us of much-needed downforce,” Horner revealed. This anomaly made the tires wear out faster, a rare issue for the team. “There’s a bunch to unpack from this race, but leaving with just a fifth place feels like a letdown,” he concluded, visibly disappointed.

Yet, amidst the setbacks, Horner found a silver lining in Carlos Sainz’s victory. He didn’t hold back praises for Sainz, especially after his recent appendix surgery. “Sainz drove like a champ, outshining his Ferrari teammate. Hats off to him and Ferrari,” Horner acknowledged. He also noted the tightening competition, hinting at an exciting season ahead.

So, there you have it. A weekend of mixed fortunes for Red Bull, with Verstappen’s unexpected exit and Perez’s battle against adversity. Meanwhile, Sainz’s triumph adds a new layer of intrigue to the championship race. Horner’s reflections capture the highs and lows, the unpredictability, and the relentless pursuit of excellence in the world of Formula 1.

Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez is a senior writer at F1Highlights.com. With a passion for motorsports, Albert brings a unique perspective to the world of Formula One. With over five years of experience as a sports reporter, he has honed his skills in capturing the essence of the sport.

Related F1 News