Angered that Red Bull could not get a “f***ing” DRS to work, Christian Horner says Max Verstappen had a moment of “road rage” during the Spanish Grand Prix.
Verstappen lined up on the Barcelona grid off the back of two consecutive race wins, determined to add a third to his run.
A mistake at Turn 4 as a gust of wind caught him out meant he dropped behind George Russell, but recovering to P2 was not an easy task as his DRS, which cost him a shot at pole position on Saturday, was only working intermittently.
Verstappen was furious, raging over the radio: “We can’t even make the f***ing DRS work, unbelievable!”
With the DRS working and then not working for a few laps, Red Bull also pointed out to their reigning World Champion that he was also opening and then closing it himself.
He told them that’s what happens when he has to press it “50 times” to try get it to work.
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In the end it all worked out for the 24-year-old as he raced to the victory ahead of his team-mate Sergio Perez.
“There was a little road rage going on at that point which is understandable because he must have hit the button 50 times on one straight,” Horner told Sky Sports.
“It is something we need to get on top of.”
Sunday’s DRS trouble wasn’t the first reliability issue that Verstappen has suffered during a grand prix, the reigning World Champion already with two DNFs to his name because of car issues.
Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko weighed in, saying his driver is an “emotional racer” and Red Bull are okay with that.
“You have to calm him down,” he told the Dutch edition of Motorsport.com. “I mean, we were surprised by this problem ourselves and you still have to make the best of it.
“When he didn’t press the button on the kerb anymore, it worked properly. He’s just an emotional racer, that’s alright.
“We instructed him to remain calm and to only press once. Before that he pressed the button several times, so that the DRS then closed again. Thank God it then opened at the right moment.”
Marko has promised Verstappen the issue will be fixed before this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix.
“We now know where the problem lies,” said Marko. There are still five days and a day has 24 hours for us, so that shouldn’t be a problem.”
Verstappen’s win in Spain elevated him to the top of the Drivers’ Championship as he took a six-point lead over Charles Leclerc, who retired from the race.
The Ferrari driver was leading comfortably when his engine went and Ferrari are investigating the cause of that.