2024 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix Highlights


Red Bull Racing

Sergio Pérez dug deep for Oracle Red Bull Racing to bank fifth place in Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix after Max Verstappen was forced to retire with a brake problem as Japanese driver Yuki Tsunoda drove a brilliant race to end with a seventh-place finish for Visa Cash App RB.

Max Verstappen, Driver, Red Bull Racing

It is unfortunate what happened today, but we can see so far in the data that the right rear brake just stuck on and locked as soon as the lights went off. It was basically like driving with the hand brake on, so the temperature kept increasing, and then I could see smoke appear as if it had caught fire. This was very confusing at the time as the car was bizarre when driving in some corners. At turn three, I braked and lost the car’s rear end; it felt weird on the rear axle, and then on turns six and seven, it snapped on me. The Team will investigate, and we will see if there are any answers, but there are some things you can’t control. It’s a shame as the car felt excellent in the laps to the grid, but you cannot control these issues, and these things happen. Of course, I am disappointed we didn’t finish the race as we had a good shot at winning, and the car has been improving throughout the weekend. We knew a day like this could come at some point, so we must be proud that we have had a great run with nine races in a row and can return stronger for Suzuka.

Sergio Pérez, Driver, Red Bull Racing:

I don’t think it was an ideal weekend for us since Friday. We had struggled quite a bit in the long run, and we tried different solutions and compromises for Saturday, but we couldn’t get a total handle on it. In the first stint the balance was super neutral, I didn’t have any rear grip and we completely destroyed the rear tyres and then the second stint I completely destroyed the front tyres. It wasn’t a nice balance out there; it was a bit of surviving mode with the degradation we had, and we didn’t match up to Ferrari or McLaren. The grid penalty also harmed us because we could have ended up a lot further up without that. I think today was track-dependent, so hopefully, when we go to Japan, we will be back on top.

CHRISTIAN HORNER, CEO and Team Principal

Our first DNF since 2022 was also here in Melbourne. It was not the race we were looking to run. Firstly, with Max’s car, it was obviously really disappointing to have that brake issue. I think, actually, from the start of the Grand Prix, it felt like the brakes were locked on, which obviously created an issue as it is effectively like having the handbrake on throughout the race. And then with Checo, we picked up some floor damage; he lost quite a lot of downforce from the underside of the car, and we just became hard on the tyre, which is very unusual for us. So yeah, really frustrating to get our first DNF in two years, a lot to understand from that race but disappointing to be leaving here with just a bit less than usual. I have huge respect for Carlos, though; coming back from surgery and putting in a drive like that is remarkable. He and Ferrari gave an excellent performance; they took their opportunity and got the desired result.

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