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Verstappen left to rue unlucky streak in Italy after Red Bull failure

Verstappen left to rue unlucky streak in Italy after Red Bull failure

F1 News

Verstappen left to rue unlucky streak in Italy after Red Bull failure

Verstappen left to rue unlucky streak in Italy after Red Bull failure

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen has insisted he still likes Italy despite a driveshaft failure adding to his wretched run of bad luck in the country.

In second practice for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Verstappen ran wide at Rivazza just five laps into his afternoon programme, damaging the driveshaft before grinding to a halt at the end of the pit exit.

The issue followed retirements in all three races last season on Italian soil where a mechanical failure ended his race early in Monza, a first-lap collision coupled with engine issues forced him out at Mugello and a tyre failure ended his race at Imola.

"I like Italy, the food is good and I enjoy being here, it is just the driving part hasn't been that lucky," said Verstappen. "I had a driveshaft issue so I had to stop the car."

Asked as to his confidence heading into the weekend after only completing meaningful running in FP1, he added: "It is difficult to say how we would have been in the second session but nothing shocking.

"We just need to review what we can do better tomorrow for balance. Of course, we have to make sure nothing breaks."

Mercedes, despite its struggles in Bahrain and Red Bull's favourite's tag, dominated Friday's proceedings at Imola as Valtteri Bottas topped both sessions and with the Finn and team-mate Lewis Hamilton completing the full two hours.

Although Red Bull also suffered issues with Sergio Perez, who collided with Esteban Ocon at the Villeneuve chicane in FP1, Verstappen is unconcerned the team may be playing catch-up to its rivals.

When asked if he was on the back foot, Verstappen commented: "A little bit but we know what we have to do anyway so I guess we should be alright.

"We just have to focus on ourselves and see where we will end up compared to them [Mercedes]."

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