Motor racing-Fuel system vacuum behind Red Bull’s Bahrain double retirement – spokesperson

Bahrain Grand Prix
FILE PHOTO: Formula One F1 - Bahrain Grand Prix - Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain - March 20, 2022 Red Bull's Max Verstappen in action during the race REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

March 25, 2022

JEDDAH (Reuters) – Formula One team Red Bull said a vacuum in their fuel system that caused a drop in fuel pressure led to the problems that put both their cars out of last weekend’s season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

World champion Max Verstappen retired from the race three laps from the end while on course for a second-place finish behind Ferrari winner Charles Leclerc.

His Mexican team mate Sergio Perez followed him into retirement on the final lap while running third. 

“Both cars suffered from a lack of fuel pressure last weekend,” said a spokesperson for the team ahead of Sunday’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.  

“The correct amount of fuel was in both cars but a vacuum prevented the pumps from drawing fuel and delivering it to the engine.

“We’ve taken the necessary steps to correct this issue and we expect no problems this weekend.”

Perez told Reuters on Thursday that the problem had stemmed from a standard-issue part but that Red Bull’s fuel system had not worked as expected.

The issue, described by team boss Christian Horner as the team’s worst nightmare, gave the Milton Keynes-based squad their first double retirement since the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix.

(Reporting by Abhishek Takle; editing by Clare Fallon)