Max Verstappen says he had no warning of the brake failure that saw the Red Bull driver end his Bahrain GP in the tire wall.
Verstappen had just copied Sebastian Vettel by making an early first stop, but soon after resuming he suffered a loss of rear brake pressure that left him with stopping power only in the front. He skated across the run off and just clipped the tire wall.
“It’s not a very nice feeling if you hit the pedal and the pedal just goes very long and you can’t stop the car properly,” he said. “As soon as I hit the brakes, it just went long. This track is always a little bit harder on the brakes, and then with the pit stop they heat up even more. Something just overheated too quickly.
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“The brakes in general are always a little bit on the limit here, but I didn’t see it coming. I hit the brake pedal and suddenly it failed.”
The frustration for Verstappen and his team was that he had enjoyed a good first lap and was pushing Lewis Hamilton before the stop.
“It was a good start, I chose the outside at Turn One, and that seemed to work pretty well. I already got two positions on lap one, and from then on I was keeping up with the guys in front of me.
“I was trying to push up to Lewis, and Lewis was pushing to the guys in front, and it seemed to work pretty well for us.
“The car was performing really well, especially in the race, we were just up there with the guys. I think the car is really good on the tires, and that was a good advantage for us on this track. It was a positive race up until that point for me. It should have been a lot of points.
“The pit stop was the right call, we would have ended up second after that lap. That was very good, but it was not meant to be.”