Update: Brake supplier know reason for Verstappen’s DNF: 'Red Bull error'

Update: Brake supplier know reason for Verstappen’s DNF: 'Red Bull error'

25 March - 18:50 Last update: 27 March - 16:19

Ludo van Denderen

Coincidence or is there something meaningful going on? In the three opening races of the season, there were already problems with both Charles Leclerc's (Ferrari) and Max Verstappen's (Red Bull) brakes. The drivers described the fault as if the handbrake was constantly being pulled. Both teams use modern brake calipers from Brembo, which at least raises suspicions of a connection. However, the Italian brand is convinced they are not to blame for Leclerc and Verstappen's problems, the company told GPblog.

While his colleagues were still competing at Albert Park circuit, Verstappen calmly addressed the press in the paddock. He explained that the problems soon presented themselves and told them that it felt like the handbrake was being put on. That seemed familiar. Charles Leclerc used similar wording after the Bahrain Grand Prix. Although the Monegasque was able to finish the race there, he did not manage to play a significant role at the time.

Brembo blame Ferrari and Red Bull for problem

When asked, Brembo stated that these were two separate problems, which had nothing to do with their materials and components. On the contrary, the fact that problems arose was due to the teams themselves. "After an investigation at each team, the problems that Leclerc and Verstappen had are not related to Brembo component anomalies or material malfunctions. In both case the problem came from a wrong setup/team choice regarding the car configuration (but we don't have more details, this is the teams' information) so there is not a direct Brembo responsibility on both car problems," Brembo informed.

Red Bull Racing have not officially disclosed the exact cause of Verstappen's failure. GPblog has since asked the team about this and we are awaiting an answer. Immediately after the race, team boss Christian Horner said, "I think we can see there's been an issue where the caliper has created the brake to bind on and that's happened from the very start of the race, so you can see the heat building."

Update Tuesday March 26

According to the Red Bull Racing team, the investigation of the exact reason for Verstappen's retirement has not yet been completed. Brembo have now partly backtracked on the written statement from the day before. That statement was posted in full by GPblog on Monday. A spokesperson for the Italian company now says that the earlier statement needs to be adjusted, namely that it is 'probably' that the problem arose from an incorrect adjustment or choice by the team with regard to the configuration of the car.