Christian Horner expanded on the initial trouble faced by Red Bull drivers in F1 Bahrain GP, as Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez and Pierre Gasly add on.

It was kind of going well for the Red Bull duo in F1 Bahrain GP until the closing stages of the grand prix when Verstappen faced fuel issues which was similar for teammate Perez, with both retiring in a space of few laps in a double retirement.

It was put down to a fuel pump issue from the initial investigation, something which Red Bull did not face at all during testing. During the F1 weekend, the FIA released a note regarding Fuel Primer Pump inspection for cars finishing in the Top 10.

“For this Event only and in contradiction to the requirements of Article 40.6 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations, you will be allowed to delay the covering of your cars one hour later than required in order to inspect the SSC fuel primer pump,” it stated.

“To allow this inspection, you are required to submit a Parc Fermé request in the normal way. During this hour (120 to 180 minutes after the end of Qualifying) this is the only permitted work which may can be carried out on the cars.”

The primer fuel pump is a spec part which was causing an issue to teams in Bahrain, but it is one of the three pumps in the car. Full investigation will happen from Red Bull as per Horner before Saudi Arabia. Additionally, the team also had a steering wheel problem.

Horner stated that the steering issue was due to the track rod getting smashed during the last pit stop of Verstappen. The problem faced by Gasly, meanwhile, was not the same as the Red Bull duo, with Horner suspecting it to be related to the MGU-K.

“We obviously are disappointed to lose the chance of a podium finish today,” said Horner to written media. “It looks suspiciously like the failures are related to each other. It looks like potential issue within the fuel system. So very disappointing to lose 30 points.

“I think the positive side for us was we had a very competitive car. I don’t think we had quite the pace of Charles today, but some great racing between Max and Charles. When you from a seasons perspective, we need to get on top of the issue, whatever it was today and come back strong next weekend.

“It was totally out of the blue. It’s something that we haven’t seen previously, but obviously we’ll strip the cars. We’ll get into it. We’ll understand what that issue was. I suspect it’s something similar between both cars. The symptoms looked very similar. Yes we did use the above special allowance from the FIA.

“But I think that was a general concern rather than specific to Red Bull. So we just need to get the cars back, get the fuel system apart and understand because we know that the fuel was in there. The encouraging thing is we started on the front row. We raced hard with Charles, Max had some great racing today. Congratulations of Ferrari. They were just that little bit too quick for us, but looks encouraging for the season ahead.

“The steering issue was the track rod when the car got dropped off in the final pit stop and that made the car inconsistent between left and right. So he did a great job with that and looked like he was managing, it wasn’t a safety concern, it was just very uncomfortable for him to drive. And Pierre’s looks like it was suspected to MGU-K,” summed up Horner.

From Verstappen’s side, the Dutchman overall felt that Red Bull lacked pace compared to its Friday running but he reckoned it happens sometimes. What frustrated him was the multiple issues he had during the race, from brakes to steering to fuel pump.

Regarding his radio messages, Verstappen noted that it wasn’t blasting but the multiple issues and things not working irked him a bit. Meanwhile, teammate Perez lamented the last lap retirement which hurt more after defending well from Lewis Hamilton.

“The pace itself was not that I hoped for compared to Friday, but these things can happen, it is the first race weekend and sometimes you really not get the balance you like,” said Verstappen to written media. “And still we were second and we had a bit of a fight, even though I think strategy wise we could have done a better job, be a bit more aggressive on the out lap for example.

“You never know what can happen, we had good top speed. After that I had that steering issue, brake issue as well, overheating a lot if I wanted to attack, that’s after the fighting I had with Charles, I had to let him go. It was not easy to drive with the steering issue because you didn’t have the feeling of the car of what it was doing, it was not natural, you can lose power steering, it is heavy but this was like it was almost stuck in some places, so it was really difficult to drive.

“The big problem was what happened afterwards, which looked like there was no fuel coming to the engine and basically everything just turned off, and I rolled back into the pitlane. It is not what you want, especially after having really positive test days and also a positive weekend.

“It looked like with the little issues that we had, to be in second place that would’ve been still a very good result, 18 points, probably, with Checo fourth. But to retire with both cars at the end of the race is very disappointing. Regarding the radio call, I have been angrier before.

“I don’t hold back, I say what I think in the car and I was not happy with what we were doing or with the balance of the car or with the strategy. It wasn’t necessarily directed to GP, I have a really good relationship with him. Of course he’s the only one I can talk to, but we have to analyse quite a few things,” summed up Verstappen.

Meanwhile, Perez added: “I could feel like a couple of laps before the end that I was losing a bit of power, the engine was cutting of at times, so we knew there was an issue, we knew what happened to Max and unfortunately it happened on the last lap. We were easily on the podium, we held back Lewis which was really tough, he was very fast in the end and a bit of the shame that we didn’t get the result.”

For Gasly, though, it was a bad end especially after a fighting race he had from the fag end of the Top 10. While he faced bad luck, teammate Yuki Tsunoda was helped by his retirement, which allowed him to finish in the points.

“This is not the start to the season I was hoping for, the whole car just switched off outside of turn one, and then I started to smell the burning,” said Gasly. “It was pretty much a barbecue at the back of the car. It was not the start we were hoping for. It’s such a shame as I had a really good start, I was able to pass Fernando, then Kevin when I got the chance, and we were running quite comfortably in P8.

“We lost some important points, but there’s still lots of positives to take from today. I was quite surprised with the pace and it’s looking pretty good for the next few races. We obviously need to understand the failure we had but I’m sure we’ll find a solution. I had some good battles, it was fun to be back racing and I’m looking forward to next week already,” summed up Gasly.

Here’s fire to Pierre Gasly’s car:

Here’s Max Verstappen’s retirement:

Here’s what happened to Sergio Perez:

Here’s how the F1 Bahrain GP panned out