Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB20 in the Pitlane during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Albert Park Circuit on March 23, 2024 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images for Red Bull)

Formula 1 News: Simple loose screw caused rare Verstappen DNF

(GMM) Max Verstappen’s brake failure in Melbourne – his first technical DNF for two years – could have been caused by a simple case of a forgotten loose screw.

Supplier Brembo denied any responsibility up-front, while Dr Helmut Marko said it wasn’t the case of a faulty caliper but some sort of “assembly issue”.

Auto Bild now claims that a screw may simply have not been tightened from the outset.

“It was a combination of causes,” Marko insists, “but that has been solved.”

He confirmed, however, that it wasn’t a case of a sudden failure in the opening moments of the race on Sunday.

“Max was behind Checo (Perez) in top speed measurements in qualifying on Saturday,” said the Austrian. “This means that the brake may not have opened properly at this point.”

Verstappen himself agrees: “The processes have been changed a little to ensure that something like this doesn’t happen again.”

Meanwhile, with news emerging that Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes engine has been written off after his Melbourne failure, there are more promising signs for Verstappen.

Verstappen’s Honda engine was removed from his car prior to qualifying in Melbourne and replaced with a new one.

“It’s still being checked,” Honda engineer Shintaro Orihara told at Suzuka, “but I think it will be usable once it is repaired.”

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Pole position qualifier Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing celebrates in parc ferme during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Japan at Suzuka International Racing Course on April 06, 2024 in Suzuka, Japan. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
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