Max Verstappen was left frustrated by his fourth retirement in six races, an engine failure costing him another shot at the podium in Baku after a similar issue in Montreal two weeks ago.
While team-mate Daniel Ricciardo enjoyed the spoils of victory, Verstappen was left to watch the majority of the grand prix on the sidelines, having plummeted from third place on lap 11 to retiring in the garage on lap 13.
“Yeah, here we go again. F***!” was his immediate reaction in-car to the engine’s initial signs of trouble, and while the word choice had changed having stepped out of the car, the sentiment had not.
“After what looked like a promising position at the beginning of the race I was gutted to be let down once again by a technical problem. After an action packed race we were confident we could have had at least a podium here in Baku, so I am very disappointed with this outcome.”
The repeated technical issues come at the worst possible time for Red Bull, with both Mercedes and Ferrari reputedly trying to buy-out the Dutchman’s contract for next season. The former team was locked in a battle for his signature with Red Bull back in 2014, with Verstappen eventually choosing the Milton Keynes-based outfit’s junior programme thanks to the offer of a seat at Red Bull feeder team Scuderia Toro Rosso for the following season.
His retirement combined with Ricciardo’s win now leaves him with less than half the points of his Australian team-mate, with only 45 in the bank compared to Ricciardo’s 92.