Max Verstappen may consider Red Bull future if retirements continue
Verstappen hints to Sky F1 that he is losing patience with Red Bull after sixth retirement of 2017; "For a top team, this can't happen"
By Matt Morlidge
Last Updated: 27/08/17 6:56pm
Max Verstappen has admitted that he can not take many more race retirements before he starts considering his Red Bull future.
The Dutchman failed to finish a race for the sixth time this season at the Belgian GP, with a Renault engine issue ending his afternoon after just eight laps.
And while Verstappen is contracted to Red Bull until the end of 2019, he didn't give assurances about his long-term future when speaking to Sky F1's Natalie Pinkham.
Asked how many DNFs he could handle before he would start to consider a move away, the 19-year-old replied: "I don't know, but not too many."
The Spa grandstands were lined with orange as Dutch fans turned up in their droves to support Verstappen, who had impressed on Saturday as he out-qualified Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo for the eighth time in 2017.
But Verstappen said he was "frustrated, disappointed and just really not happy" with Red Bull after yet another retirement, with his reliability woe made worse by the fact Ricciardo finished the race on the podium.
Verstappen's 2017 misery
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"For a top team, this can't happen," a despondent Verstappen added. "At the beginning you can say it's bad luck, these things happen. But if it's happening again for the sixth time this year, you can't call it bad luck any more.
"The fans buy very expensive tickets to come and watch the race and then after eight laps it's finished.
"Also it's just really demotivating because you work hard all weekend, you have a great qualifying and you're looking forward to the race but then you retire after eight laps.
"I don't know what to say - it's just a very tough year."
Brundle's Verstappen verdict
Though Red Bull boss Christian Horner cursed Verstappen's lack and said engine suppliers Renault had to "give us some explanations", Sky F1's Martin Brundle can see why Formula 1's youngest race winner would be losing patience.
"I would want to know why it's happening to my car and not the other car," said Brundle. "I would say if you can't give me the car, you can't give me the speed, you can't give me the reliability - you have to let me go somewhere else.
"It's not very long ago that you'd give anything to be an Red Bull driver, and Ricciardo got a fine podium today. I guess he's going to have to tread water and bide his time, but he's getting impatient."
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