Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen has stated that he is unhappy with the current performance of his car, having retired from five out of the last seven races due to technical gremlins.
His retirement from the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday following a clutch problem, was the third race in succession that the Dutchman has been back in the garage early, and the 19-year-old is at breaking point.
Despite trying to remain positive, Verstappen admitted when speaking to Autosport.com after the event, that he is losing the strength to believe that he will ever get his campaign back on track.
“I actually was reasonably calm, but it’s very disappointing of course, what happened.
“This way you lose confidence. Not in myself, but in the whole thing I mean – if it keeps on happening.”
The spate of failures the Dutchman has endured, have seriously dented his chances of fighting for the championship this year, and Verstappen, who knows he has the skills to fight the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel every step of the way given reliable machinery, is fed up of the seemingly never-ending saga, on his side of the garage.
“Just the whole situation at the moment. I think that’s pretty logical.
“This needs to stop at some point. I know they always do their very best. Also, it’s constantly something else, so you can’t fix it really, because every time it’s something else.”
Although Sunday’s early exit was compounded by a first lap incident involving McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team driver Fernando Alonso, who in turn was shunted from behind by Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat, the 19-year-old confirmed problems had already started to rear their ugly head.
“I already had clutch problems at the start. During the formation lap I already noticed that something was wrong.
“When I left the grid the car was shaking tremendously, so that wasn’t good.
“With the actual start, when you go towards the bite point, the clutch started to oscillate, to vibrate, to put it simply.
“Then the car went into anti-stall, but presumably something already was broken by then and started leaking.
“So I never would have made it to the finish. If it’s starting to slip and to leak and everything, then it’s game over.”
Verstappen confirmed that Red Bull Team Bosses Helmut Marko and Christian Horner did apologise for what happened in Austria, but although he accepts they are trying their best to get the situation resolved, the eager Dutchman says words do not help you win titles.
“I think they have never experienced so many DNFs before. I think this normally happens over three or four seasons, maximum.
“What can I say? Sorry doesn’t get me anywhere. Since Monaco I have scored zero points.”
There has been plenty of speculation doing the rounds of the paddock recently, that Verstappen is frustrated with what has gone on this season, and is looking to move on from his Red Bull woes with Scuderia Ferrari very much in his sights.
With both Kimi Raikkonen and Vettel’s contracts up for renewal at the send of 2017, there could definitely be a seat available for the young Dutchman to be kitted out in red next year. That is if Ferrari are willing to stump up the cash, and Red Bull are willing to part with their young protégé however, as he is still under contract to the Milton Keynes based squad until the end of 2019, according to Horner.
The 19-year-old’s father Jos has also told Sky Sports F1 that his son will be driving for Red Bull in 2018, but if things continue as they are, then it is highly likely Verstappen will look for a way out of that contract as soon as he can.
Just imagine then, a team with a line-up comprising of Verstappen and Vettel, now that is a battle I would love to watch!