Max Verstappen pulls out of first Formula One race of the year

Max Verstappen pulls out of first Formula One race of the year after just 14 laps as his car suffers a power failure at the Austrian Grand Prix

  • Max Verstappen has been forced to retire from the Formula One season opener 
  • The Red Bull driver started in second at the first race in Spielberg, Austria 
  • However, a power problem meant the hotshot had to withdraw from the race
  • Ten other drivers were also forced to retire in a frantic opening race 

Max Verstappen has pulled out of the Austrian Grand Prix in a disappointing start to the 2020 season for the Red Bull driver as half the field withdrew during a frantic opening race.

Verstappen, who has won in Spielberg for the last two seasons, started in second place after Lewis Hamilton was penalised for accelerating through a yellow flag in qualifying. 

However, the Belgian hotshot was forced to withdraw from the season opener after just 14 laps after his car suffered a power failure. 

Max Verstappen has been forced to withdraw from the Formula One season opener in Austria

The Red Bull driver suffered power unit problems after just 14 laps of the race, and mechanics were unable to repair the car to complete the race

Upon learning of the issue with his car, Verstappen returned to the pits but mechanics were unable to find a solution to the problem, leaving an unhappy Verstappen disappearing into the garage. 

It was a poor start for the young driver, who is hoping to mount a challenge to Lewis Hamilton’s dominance with Mercedes.

Former Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo also suffered a nightmare start to the season as, just five laps after Verstappen’s withdrawal, the Australian too was forced to retire. 

Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo also had to withdraw after suffering power problems

The Australian watches on from the garage after his early exit from the race in Austria

The 31-year-old also appeared to have a problem with his power and returned to the pits as his end came to an early end. 

Verstappen and Ricciardo weren’t the only drivers to encounter mechanical issues on the opening day, as Lance Stroll was forced to make an early exit with an engine problem, he was in ninth place at the time. 

Haas driver Kevin Magnussen was also forced to retire after struggling with a brake issue. The Dane had spun and found himself stuck in the gravel. Magnussen’s team-mate Romain Grosjean was hit with a DNF, too.

Veteran racer Kimi Raikonnen also retired after his front right wheel spectacularly fell off

Lance Stroll (pictured), Kevin Magnussen, Romain Grosjean and George Russell also retired

Veteran racer Kimi Raikonnen was next to fall after his front right wheel spectacularly fell off as he dived into the gravel. 

British driver George Russell also withdrew after encountering engine problems in what was an afternoon of retirements in an exciting opening day of racing.  

With just four laps remaining, Red Bull suffered its second retirement of the day, with Alex Albon forced out just moments after a close encounter with Lewis Hamilton which resulted in the world champion being hit with a five-second penalty. 

Daniil Kvyat withdrew on the final lap as Valtteri Bottas won the race, with Hamilton’s penalty putting him in fourth place. 

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