Max Verstappen saw his Austrian Grand Prix end on the opening lap after getting caught up in a first lap clash between Fernando Alonso and Daniil Kvyat, after a sluggish start caused by a clutch issue relegated him to the midfield.
It is the fifth time in seven races that the Red Bull Racing driver has failed to finish, with the hit from Alonso damaging the already struggling clutch so much that he lost all drive, which meant he was forced to pull off the circuit before the conclusion of lap one.
“We had a clutch issue at the start of the race,” said Verstappen. “I could feel on the formation lap that it wasn’t great and then at the start it failed which triggered the anti-stall as I tried to launch.
“I pulled away after losing many positions and tried to stay out of trouble in to turn one but I got hit on the rear tyre. Because of the hit the clutch over engaged, braking the bearing in the clutch, so I had no drive.
“The boys are all working very hard and there is no blame on anyone, we have just had a lot of bad luck recently and I have to try and stay positive. It’s definitely not nice at the moment and I’m very disappointed again but it’s also very important to keep pushing everyone forward as there are still many races to go. We just hope that the next race will be better.”
Verstappen is hoping to put his disappointing run of result behind him next weekend at Silverstone, but he was sad not to give the huge amount of Dutch fans that turned up to the Red Bull Ring a good race on Sunday.
“I also feel disappointed for all the Dutch fans as they have travelled a long way,” said Verstappen. “I wanted to put on a show for them but I could not even complete one corner today. We will of course try to do better at Silverstone.”