Max Verstappen has urged Red Bull to get on top of the race-long brake issues that hampered him during the United States Grand Prix.

Starting sixth, Verstappen was able to progress his way through the field to take a lead by Lap 27 that he converted into the 50th victory of his Formula 1 career.

But Verstappen was made to work for his latest triumph, overcoming the threat posed by Lando Norris before surviving a late onslaught to pip Lewis Hamilton by 2.2s.

The Dutchman repeatedly complained about complications with his brakes that denied him from extracting the same searing pace he had displayed in Saturday’s Sprint race.

“I made a good start and in the first stint I tried to be patient but at the same time following for so long did hurt my tyres a little bit,” Verstappen reflected.

“But at the same time, I was struggling a lot with the brakes compared to yesterday, so I couldn’t really be that nice to the tyres under braking, just being very inconsistent.

“That basically carried on for the rest of the race, which compared to yesterday that was quite a big factor because I never really had a lot of confidence to be consistent under braking.

“But, nevertheless, I think as a team we did the right strategy, we pitted at the right time, and basically because of that I could work my way forward. I think we did everything correct today but I was hoping for a little bit more pace because I think yesterday we were a lot more competitive.”

Verstappen reveals that Red Bull had changed the brakes on his RB19 overnight, which likely contributed to the problem.

Asked when the trouble occurred, Verstappen replied: “Just lap one. It was the only thing that we changed from yesterday. That made it very difficult, I couldn’t get on top of it.

“It’s very rare that I have it in F1, but today it did come up and it just made it a bit more difficult.”

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing celebrates his 50th F1 victory with the team. 22.10.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 19, United States Grand Prix, Austin, Texas, USA, Race Day.

Verstappen contends that he was surprised by the difficulty he encountered, adding that it impacted his ability to preserve his tyres throughout the entire 57-lap encounter.

“I just couldn’t feel the brakes, I very easily locked the fronts and I tried to adjust it and was locking the rears,” he explained. “It was something very weird because normally I never really have issues with the braking.

“So this is just something we need to understand why that was today, because when you are locking the fronts or rears you are also killing your tyres so that definitely didn’t help compared to yesterday. Because yesterday the feeling I had with the car was really amazing but today it was not that great, but nevertheless we still won the race.”

Verstappen was heard telling his race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase not to issue him with instructions whilst under braking.

The 26-year-old has downplayed the in-race discussion, insisting that he made the series of requests in a polite manner.

“On the speaking under braking, when you’re struggling already under braking and you’re not that confident I politely asked not to be spoken to,” Verstappen addressed.

“You’re laughing there but I said ‘please’ when I asked!”

Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner confirmed that Verstappen’s pace was handicapped by the brakes because it also began to impact his tyre temperatures.

Horner relays that Red Bull’s data traces confirmed the only areas the three-time champion was losing out to team-mate Sergio Perez came in the braking zones.

“As soon as you start managing that issue, it interferes with your tyre temperatures and everything else. So I thought he did a very good job to do that,” Horner added.

“Difficult to predict what it cost in pace, but you could see he didn’t enjoy the same advantage of pace, if you like that he had yesterday.

“I think it was [evident] throughout the race. It was from very early in the first [stint]. He just wasn’t getting the same feeling from the brake pedal that he had previously, and certainly you could see Checo’s pace was strong again today.

“And all the deficits as you heard GP [Gianpiero Lambiase] say to him were in the braking zone, so for sure there was a bit left on the table today.”

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