Max Verstappen responds to fans who cheered his DNF at the Australian GP and explains row with mechanic

Max Verstappen responds to fans who cheered his DNF at the Australian GP and explains row with mechanic

WATCH NOW: Max Verstappen future discussed by GB News pundit

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 24/03/2024

- 11:13

The 26-year-old endured a rare off-day on Sunday morning

Max Verstappen has revealed he 'didn't hear' fans cheering his DNF at the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday.

And the Red Bull driver has also explained a row with a mechanic after he was unable to finish the race, with Carlos Sainz Jr driving to victory instead.

Verstappen was, prior to the race, expected to cruise to glory.

He secured pole in qualifying on Saturday and nobody expected the 26-year-old to struggle given his remarkable form over the past few years.

Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen has responded to fans who cheered his withdrawal from the Australian Grand Prix


However, Verstappen struggled right away - with Sainz easily overtaking him on the first lap.

Smoke started to pour out from the rear right brake and Verstappen was then forced to pit and retire from the race, much to his dismay.

Fans in attendance at Albert Park were heard cheering after Verstappen was ousted from the action.

Yet the Red Bull star, speaking to Sky Sports, has now revealed he didn't hear supporters because he has a helmet on.

"I have a helmet on so I don’t hear that!" he said jokingly.

"I’m disappointed with not being able to finish the race because I think we would have had a good shot at winning because the balance felt quite nice on the laps to the grid.

"Like I felt confident and a good improvement compared to what I felt in the long runs when we did in practice. But yeah, some things you can’t control.

"Of course, we had a lot of good races in a row, a lot of good reliability and I knew that the day would come that you end up having a retirement and, unfortunately, that day was today.

"We just had already a very good run of two years, right? I mean, that’s already quite impressive.

"But of course, you never like to see it happen. But it’s more important now that we understand why it happened."

After Verstappen was forced to withdraw, the Red Bull driver was caught saying something was 'stupid' while talking with a mechanic.

He explained the angry exchange by saying: "Well, that was related to us doing a pitstop while the car was on fire.

"I was like, 'Why are we doing a pit stop?'"

Explaining why he retired from the race, he continued: "What we can see so far from the data is that as soon as the lights went off the right-rear brake just stuck on.

"It just caused the damage and it kept on increasing so it was also basically driving with the handbrake on.


Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen was forced to retire from the Australian GP on Sunday morning


"That’s why the car felt really weird to drive in some corners, just very snappy, while the laps to the grid the car was really spot on and I was happy with what we were doing.

"But if a brake is stuck on it doesn’t help."

Red Bull chief Christian Horner, meanwhile, believes Verstappen's frustrations are understandable.

"Obviously, a driver is going to be frustrated when he gets out of a car from a retirement," he said.

"I think he's been very gracious with the team and all of the mechanics. It hurts everybody in the same way.

Christian Horner

Christian horner has praised Max Verstappen despite his DNF at the Australian Grand Prix


"It's a matter of learning from it. We've had two years with no mechanical DNFs which has been remarkable.

"It's a matter of understanding what caused it and learning from it and moving on.

"It's remarkable after three races that he's still leading the championship even with that DNF but, as I say, a lot of lessons to take from today."

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