Furious Max Verstappen lashes out at Red Bull in Saudi Arabia

Max Verstappen topped all three practice sessions in Saudi Arabia, but qualified P15 following a driveshaft failure.

After dominating the opening day at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, reigning world champion Max Verstappen endured a Saturday to forget at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, following two huge moments throughout the day.

Verstappen’s pace has been sensational in Saudi Arabia this weekend, with the Dutchman having topped all three practice sessions.

Free Practice 3 Saturday morning, though, did see the 25-year-old involved in what was nearly a “massive crash”, after the Red Bull driver wasn’t informed that Lando Norris was on a hot lap behind him.

Verstappen was cruising almost on the racing-line and seemingly wasn’t told by race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase that Norris was closing rapidly, with the McLaren driver having been very unhappy after having to suddenly bail out of his lap.

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“It’s dangerous what these guys do… that could have been a massive crash,” Norris told his race engineer.

Verstappen instantly knew he was in the wrong and immediately pulled alongside Norris to apologise; however, he complained to Lambiase before doing so.

“Mate, f***,” Verstappen said to Lambiase, before his race engineer replied by saying: “Apologies.”

Verstappen’s day became significantly worse Saturday evening after suffering an unfortunate driveshaft failure during Q2, with the Dutchman having limped his car back to the garage, before jumping out.

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The Dutch driver will likely start from P15 on the grid for Sunday’s race, meaning his chances of victory are incredibly slim.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner isn’t ruling Verstappen out just yet, though, with the team boss expecting “plenty of carnage” during the second race of the 2023 season.

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“It’s a tough race here. It’s a matter of staying out of trouble,” Horner told Sky Sports F1.

“There’s going to be plenty of action, plenty of carnage, and it should provide an exciting race hopefully. It’s great for Checo [Perez] and important to convert that so we’re gonna have two different races going on in the Grand Prix tomorrow.

“It’s only the second race so it’s a great shame [for Max]. It’s really frustrating, the car has been on fire all weekend. Max, as well, every session has been very quick so let’s see how he races tomorrow. It’s gonna be a busy race for him, but we’ve got good straight-line speed. We’ve got a good race car so let’s see what we can do.”