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Red Bull 'sorry' for Verstappen retirements

Christian Horner and Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing
© XPB 

Red Bull Racing team management is "sorry, sorry, sorry" for the string of retirements suffered by Max Verstappen in 2017.

That's according to the driver himself, who admits that any thoughts of a successful title bid this year are firmly over - for both him and the team.

Verstappen has failed to finish the last three races. In fact, he's made it to the end in only four of the nine races so far this season. His latest disappointment in Austria was the result of a incident sparked by Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat.

But overall it's the lack of reliability of the RB13 that is the biggest source of frustration for the Dutch teenager. He's especially upset because his team mate Daniel Ricciardo seems unaffected, having picked up five consecutive podiums.

"After a while you think 'How long can this go on?'" Verstappen is quoted by De Telegraaf newspaper. "I know the team is working hard and doing their best, but something else is always breaking."

Verstappen was asked what the senior management at Red Bull - team principal Christian Horner, motorsport consultant Helmut Marko and owner Dietrich Mateschitz - had told him about the current situation.

"What did they say?" he shrugged. "Sorry, sorry, sorry. That should not happen.

"Yes, I have told them clearly I am not happy, but I think they see that already," he added. "I no longer think about the world championship, but having good individual races."

The situation at Red Bull has led to speculation that Verstappen is looking to leave the team and join Ferrari. But Red Bull insists that it already has him locked into a contract for 2018.

"We have a contract and I think the team can do a good job," Verstappen himself confirmed to Italy's Autosprint.

"But the whole package must be able to get results. I think, at the moment, that is not the case. We can see clearly that we are not the fastest on the straight.

"It is absolutely not a good time and I am very disappointed. But it will be important to continue to push everyone forward, because there are still a lot of races," he added.

"Despite the fact that there is a lot of speculation, there are no problems with our drivers," Horner insisted. "They're doing a fantastic job ... I wouldn't want any other drivers in our cars."

But Horner did admit that the teams' current form meant that any prospects for success in the constructors championship were over.

"I think the championships for us are not even worth thinking about. We're a bit in no man's land.

"What we're very focused on is building on the progress that we've seen," he added. "Particularly since Barcelona. And ensuring that the second half of the year for us is more competitive than the first half."

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