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Driveshaft failure leaves Verstappen with a 'little bit more tricky' race

Max Verstappen’s says a suspected driveshaft failure suffered on his Red Bull during Q2 has left him with a “little bit more tricky” race on his hands on Sunday in Jeddah.

It was business as usual at the outset of qualifying for Verstappen who breezed through into Q2 well ahead of the field.

But a sudden driveshaft failure – according to Red Bull – put paid to the Dutchman’s efforts at the start of the second segment of qualifying, leaving the championship leader P15 in the pecking order.

“It’s the first time I heard about it as well,” Verstappen told Sky F1, referring to the driveshaft issue which was a first for him.

“It happened coming out of Turn 10, which is very annoying for it to happen.

“So far, we’ve had a really good weekend. Every session was working really well and, every time we were on the track, the car was working really well.”

  • Read also: Perez on pole in Jeddah after Verstappen driveshaft failure

Verstappen should line up on the eighth row of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix grid on Sunday, just three spots behind Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc who qualified second behind Sergio Perez but who is  hit with a 10-place grid following a beyond-the-limit engine component change.

Verstappen reckoned that carving his way through the field will be “tough” tomorrow, but the Dutchman is confident that he’ll have the pace to move forward.

“Now it’s a little bit more tricky to get to the front,” he said.

“But it’s all about scoring points, it’s a very long season. Of course, I would have hoped to start a bit further up the road but we cannot change that now.

“Anything is possible at this track. We’ve seen a lot of crazy things, but we also need to stay a little bit realistic.

“I mean, it’s going to be tough. But we have good pace so, for sure, we’ll move forward.”

While Red Bull disclosed that Verstappen’s plight in Q2 was linked to a driveshaft failure, it’s been anything put a smooth weekend for its engine supplier Honda.

Perez took new power unit elements ahead of the weekend while AlphaTauri’s Nyck de Vries was forced to sit out Q3 as his crews undertook an engine change on his AT04.

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