Red Bull frustrated by reliability woes after first double DNF in two years

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Red Bull feel victory was certainly possible with Max Verstappen before the electrical issue which caused his early Austrian Grand Prix retirement.

The Dutchman was just about keeping pace with the Mercedes' at the front despite starting on the medium compound tyre but after just 11 laps, his hopes of a third straight win in Spielberg hopped away as his car bounced back to the pits.

“Well I suddenly just lost power, drive, got put into anti-stall. I don’t know what the problem is yet, I didn’t go back [to the team] yet. We will find out but of course, it’s not how you want to start [the season]," he told Sky Sports.

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“I think quite quickly you could see Valtteri was quite quick. I was trying to do my pace. It would have been an easy podium. What can you do about it?''

Given the problems Mercedes too were facing with sensor issues threatening to shut the car down, however, team boss Christian Horner believes the win may well have come Verstappen's way.

"A win could have been on the cards for Max," he said speaking to the media post-race.

"He was holding pace with Valtteri [Bottas], and you could see towards the end of the stint Valtteri started to get into some tyre problems.

"We would have stopped under the pace car, taken the hard tyre that everybody did, and then under the second safety car, would Mercedes have stayed out? We would have done the opposite to whatever they would have done. You just don't know."

As for Albon, he would also retire with electrical issues in the closing laps, giving Red Bull their first double retirement since Baku 2018.

Alb AutGP

However, Horner believes the problems on the two cars were unrelated.

“It looks something totally different,'' he said.

“It looks something on the power unit side with Alex but we don’t know whether that’s a result of the knock that he’s had or a trip through the gravel. We need to get the car back. We turned the engine off as a precaution."

Understandably those two mechanical retirements led to concern on faces at Honda, who confirmed they would be trying to have fixes in place for this weekend's second race at the Red Bull Ring.