“We got a nice slap,” were the first words from Red Bull Motorsport Director Helmut Marko to ABMS after the Bahrain GP. “But,” the doctor of law continued, “we will now disassemble the cars, conduct error analysis and then go to Saudi Arabia well prepared.”
Motorsport boss Helmut Marko: “The reason for failure at Verstappen and Perez seems to be the same. Both cars failed because of the injection clock, which is why Perez also spun because he suddenly had no more power in the curve.”
For Red Bull, the defect came without warning. “We have to put our heads together now, we still don’t have a conclusive explanation,” Marko announces an extensive investigation. “It’s something that’s completely new. More than uncomfortable to retire with the same defect after such a test performance with both cars.”
In the case of Verstappen’s problem with the power steering, Marko suspects: “The jack (at the third pit stop; ed.) must have damaged something in the steering geometry.” All in all, Red Bull’s head of motorsport did not give his team a good report at the start: “It didn’t go optimally. We were surprised by Ferrari’s racing pace, especially in the second sector we didn’t have a chance. Because we were lagging behind, our tire wear was higher.”
After the second Red Bull pit stop, the world champion cursed on the radio in the best Hamilton manner: “This is the second time that I’ve tackled the outlap easily and twice I could have easily been in front. I’ll never do that again!”
In view of the series of defects that followed, the incident was the world champion’s least concern. “All in all, it was just really tough out there today. We had a lot of different difficulties, also little grip and no traction, the pace wasn’t great. There’s a lot for us to analyze now,” Verstappen demands.
What encourages the defending champion: “The performance is there. But today we couldn’t show it like that. Of course, if you drop out, it’s not all over, but we’ve lost a lot of points in one weekend.”
The good thing about it: Red Bull still has 22 races to make up for the disaster in Bahrain.