Verstappen ‘competing against Alonso’ for DNFs


Max Verstappen acknowledges that he was “very disappointment” after a sixth retirement of this season put him out of the Belgian GP, his “home” race.

The Red Bull racer was running inside the points when his RB13 broke down on lap 8 of the grand prix.

Parking it in front of thousands of Dutch fans who flocked to the circuit specfically to cheer on Verstappen, the 19-year-old said his sixth DNF in 12 races meant he was challenging Fernando Alonso and his wretched Honda engine in terms of retirements.

“It’s now 50 percent of the races [ended] in retirement,” Verstappen said. “It’s unbelievable, like I said on the radio, I just can’t believe that those things happen.

“Of course, in the beginning, you say maybe it’s just bad luck or whatever, [but] I’m actually competing against Fernando in terms of retirements. I’m not happy at all.

“I am very disappointed for retiring and the fans who buy an expensive ticket to watch and I retire after eight laps. No words.

“It’s very de-motivating because the whole weekend you are working very hard. You have a great qualifying and are looking forward to the race but then again you retire after eight laps.

“I don’t know what to say, it’s been a very tough year.”

Asked whether this year’s spate of retirements could affect his chances of remaining with Red Bull long term, Verstappen replied: “To be honest, I’m not even thinking about that. We just need to solve it within the team, because for a top team those things can’t happen.

“I’m not too worried about the future, what’s happening next year, I just want to finish races and have good results. The results are not happening, so you don’t care about next year or the year after at this time.

“We need to talk. We will always talk about, at the moment I am not a happy person and I look forward to going home.”