It was a 'beep' day says Verstappen as he retires and Red Bull fail to score at Monza
Max Verstappen’s run of five successive podiums came to an end at the Italian Grand Prix, as the Dutchman retired from the race at Monza with a power unit problem, describing it as a “beep” kind of a day.
The Red Bull driver has emerged as Lewis Hamilton’s closest rival in recent races with a supreme run of form, but the RB16 struggled in a low downforce configuration at Monza. And after a bad start for the Dutchman, where he dropped from fifth to seventh, things didn’t get much better.
“It was a pretty ‘beep it away’ day,” said Verstappen, knowingly switching in the word 'beep' for a profanity. “First we had a very bad start. When I dropped the clutch, I had a lot of wheelspin as the engine was hot somehow.
“And then from there onwards, we got stuck in the DRS train - you can’t pass around here then. After the red flag and the second start, when I accelerated, I had a problem with the engine, so we tried to solve it but it didn’t go away and we had to retire the car.
“Now we just have to forget this race and move on to next week at a new circuit [Mugello] we are all excited to visit.”
It wasn’t a great afternoon for his team mate Alex Albon either, whose bid for points was essentially over at the start when he damaged his car in contact with eventual race winner Pierre Gasly in the run to the first corner.
“That wasn’t a fun race and P15 clearly isn’t reflective of our true package,” said Albon. “We had a lot of damage with the left side of the floor missing after contact in Turn 1 and then with the time penalty [for causing the incident] our race was basically over.
“We had no grip and lost a load of downforce so it was a long race where we were just limping to the end. It’s been a tough weekend for us as a team which we thought it could be and then with the circumstances today it’s just made it a lot harder.”
The result was Red Bull’s first non-points score since the opening race of the season, allowing McLaren to close to within 60 points in the battle for second in the constructors’ championship.
Verstappen drops behind Valtteri Bottas to third in the drivers’ championship meanwhile, seven points adrift, while Albon is down to sixth, behind Lando Norris.