Date published: September 14 2020
Ex-F1 driver turned pundit Martin Brundle finds it strange that Honda’s reliability woes are affecting only Max Verstappen.
The Dutchman was forced to retire from the Italian Grand Prix at Monza thanks to an engine issue, so the last thing he needed was another retirement at the Tuscan Grand Prix which followed.
Sadly, that’s exactly what happened.
Red Bull and Honda were seen working frantically on Verstappen’s RB16 before the race, though Red Bull team principal Christian Horner later revealed that they were trying to fix a problem with the rear lights.
However, Verstappen then encountered a “big electrical issue” on the formation lap before sinking well down the order off the line.
And his race was over by Turn 2 after he was punted into the gravel as part of a multi-car incident which also involved Kimi Raikkonen and Italian GP winner Pierre Gasly.
Verstappen said he would have been forced to retire anyway without the crash due to his power issues, and Brundle pointed out how Verstappen’s team-mate Alex Albon and the AlphaTauris of Gasly and Daniil Kvyat have had no such issues.
“For the second consecutive Sunday, and the third time in nine races, Verstappen was having power unit problems which would almost certainly have led to retirement anyway, and he’s understandably not impressed,” Brundle wrote in his Sky Sports column.
“Strangely the same units in his team-mate Alex Albon’s car and the sister team of Alpha Tauri for Gasly and Daniil Kvyat seem more reliable.”
— Aston Martin Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) September 13, 2020
Verstappen was far from impressed after recording back-to-back DNFs, saying he is getting “sick of it”.
“It seems that it was the same problem as last week in Monza,” he told Ziggo Sport after the race.
“The start was good, but when I went full throttle, I had that problem again. I could already feel it on the way to the grid.
“It is not normal for it to happen two races in a row. At the moment I’m sick of it. It doesn’t matter that much to me anymore.”
Speaking to The Race, Honda F1 technical director Toyoharu Tanabe said: “We’re now investigating the cause of the issue.
“At the moment I cannot tell you if we could continue, or we had to retire.
“But the issue is not small. The impact was big. So, it was a very bad situation.”