Max Verstappen’s 2022 season has already been full of ups and downs, with the Dutchman managing to win every race he’s finished but has been forced into retirement twice already this year.
The reigning World Champion stormed to victory at the inaugural Miami Grand Prix, after overtaking both Carlos Sainz Jr and Charles Leclerc within the first nine laps.
His weekend at the Miami International Autodrome got off to a rocky start; Verstappen missed the majority of Friday free practice due to a hydraulic issue with his RB18.
Had Verstappen not won the race, his Friday issues would’ve certainly been highlighted as the reason why he failed to win.
Verstappen has discussed his inaugural trip to Miami, and how the car’s reliability remains too “hit or miss”.
“From my side, I had a lot of issues on Friday, which compromises your weekend,” said the Dutchman.
“Of course, everything went well with the start of the race, but it also could have been the other way around.
“We just have to nail down a really positive weekend without issues. I think in Imola we had that, but it’s still a bit hit-or-miss too much.
“As you can see, the car is quick, and I’m very happy about that. If we were to be slow and reliable, that’s probably not a good thing.”
The Red Bull driver’s victory in Miami means that the Dutchman has won all three races he’s finished, with his previous victories this season coming in Saudi Arabia and Imola.
The 24-year-old was forced into retirement at both the Bahrain and Australian Grand Prix’s, which has seen Leclerc build a gap at the top of the standings.
Verstappen’s team-mate, Sergio Pérez, has also seen the start of his season also hit by reliability issues.
His most recent issue also came in Miami, however, Pérez’ problem occurred during the race, whilst battling with Sainz for third.
The Mexican driver suffered a sensor issue halfway through the Grand Prix, which hampered any hopes of a podium finish.
Red Bull have proven to be impeccably fast this year, however, their ongoing reliability issues could be the difference between winning the constructors’ championship, or not.
“We’re still having a few issues that we have to solve,” added Verstappen
“We are quick but, as you could see, my Friday was terrible, which is not great if you want to have a good weekend.
“Also Checo [Perez] had a few issues in the race, so we have to be on top of that.
“Clearly there is a lot of potential and we just need to make sure it’s reliable,” he concluded.