Red Bull officially confirms cause of double DNF in Bahrain

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB18. 18.03.2022. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Sakhir, Bahrain
© XPB 

Red Bull has officially confirmed that a fuel system vacuum issue caused the late retirements in last weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.

Both drivers were in contention for a spot on the podium in the closing stages of F1's opening round at Sakhir.

Verstappen was ready to mount a challenge on race leader Charles Leclerc on the race's restart after a safety car period, but the Dutchman, who was also battling a steering issue, was forced to retire his car with four laps to go as his engine was starved of fuel.

The same fate befell Perez on the final lap, although the Mexican's power unit shut down instantly as he entered Turn 1, spinning the Red Bull into its DNF.

Red Bull's massive pain in Bahrain was Ferrari's big gain, with the Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz delivering to the House of Maranello its first 1-2 finish since Singapore in 2019.

Red Bull confirmed on Friday morning in Jeddah the fuel system issue, insisting that both of its cars had raced with the correct amount of fuel onboard.

"Both cars suffered from a lack of fuel pressure last weekend," said a spokesman for the team.

"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."

The pump that required Red Bull's attention is  a component designed by the Milton Keynes ouitfit while the primer and high pressures pumps that are next in line in the fuel system are standard parts mandated by the FIA.

On Friday in Jeddah, a technical delegate's report from the FIA noted that Red Bull had broken the curfew on Thursday evening, presumably to solve its fuel pump issue.

F1 teams are permitted eight exceptions over the course of the season where curfew is allwoed to be broken.

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