Red Bull promised them very happy in Jeddah, and especially Max Verstappen. His dominance was incontestable in Bahrain, and it was being so at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix until the arrival of Q2, the intermediate session of the classification on Saturday. The two-time world champion ruled with an iron fist in the time table, followed at a distance only by Pérez and Fernando Alonso’s Aston Martinand pointed to a historic pole for him.
However, and as the Asturian mentioned later, Formula 1 is not an ‘exact science’, and it seems that the unbeatability of the RB19 either. In the first attempt, the Dutchman had more than enough to spare, but the car hit him with a whiplash that prevented him from making a clean lap and he returned to the pits. When I started again, everything was going great, but in the second sector of Jeddah, a track where he has never particularly shone, andTime stopped, and his car too.
After a shrill noise, in which the RB19 seemed to accelerate, the driveshaft broke, and the speed of the car dropped dramatically, while sparks and small pieces of carbon fiber flew onto the track. In the first instance, Verstappen radioed the Red Bull wall that it was an engine problem, because he could not recover the power that he had lost, but in any case He knew that he could not continue competing, and that he had a comeback of the epics on Sunday. Before, he had to recover from the qualifying nightmare, in which pole position ended up in the hands of his teammate Pérez.
The faces in the paddock, in the box and on the Red Bull wall were a poem. The frustration on the face of ‘Mad Max’, as evident as it is worrying. And not for his team, which too, but for the rest of the grid, who will have to deal with a runaway bull tomorrow. Even so, very unexpected setback for the Austrian teamwho has seen in just two races that his omnipotence is increasingly in question. They are still the fastest, but if they are not reliable, nothing can stop their rivals.
“Every time we were out there I think we were really competitive.“, explained the Dutch driver, already calmer after being stranded in Q2, wanting to continue demonstrating his superiority. There is nothing that Verstappen likes more than to win, get victories, pole positions and records, and he will have to appeal to the epic to achieve it this time.Careful, yes, because he has always been very impulsive as well and that impetus could cost him some displeasure.
“This is motorsports, this kind of thing can happen“, Max admitted with resignation, already used to the hazards of the trade. “We just tried to find out what the problem was, and learn why it happened and move forward without looking back. Tomorrow we must minimize the damage“added Verstappen, aware that if everything goes well tomorrow he will fight for victory, regardless of his starting position.
The part that concerned him, the bearing, is basic for any vehicle. He drive shaft It is the part of the car that translates the mechanical effort produced by the engine and power unit components into traction for the rear wheels. that is done through gearbox and differential.
The differential connects to the drive shaft shaft.; the gearbox produces the correct amount of transmission with regard to revs and torque, and then the differential gives the drive shafts the opportunity to move at different speeds of rotation in the curves. As the half shaft is the part of the drive shaft that transmits movement to the rear wheels, any damage to that part causes the power train transmission and the drive train to be severely affected.
The funny thing is that Verstappen He had already changed his gearbox that same afternoon, without any penalty. Once in the pits, the part was repaired and replaced, a process that takes about two hours. For the driver, a broken shaft feels like someone stepping on the clutch while accelerating, negatively impacting the engine as well.
Unfortunate Qualifying with a drive shaft issue.
We have a good race car, so it’s all to play for. We’ll give it all we have in the race 👊 pic.twitter.com/DXDx7SW136
—Max Verstappen (@Max33Verstappen) March 18, 2023
On his social networks, the same Red Bull star driver also shared his feelings with his followers: “unfortunate classification with transmission problems. We have a great racing car, so we just have to go out and play. Tomorrow we will give everything we have in the race“. Quite a declaration of intent, after a disappointing day, so that the grid is alert.