Reigning F1 world champion Max Verstappen slammed the Aston Martin safety car for moving as slow as a ‘turtle,’ resulting in drivers struggling to get heat into their tyres at the Australian Grand Prix. While the Dutchman was eventually forced to retire from the race owing to a mechanical failure, he was frustrated while driving through two safety car restarts.
Max Verstappen slams F1 2022 Aston Martin safety car
According to Motorsport.com, a frustrated Max Verstappen said, “There’s so little grip, and also the safety car was driving so slow, it was like a turtle. Unbelievable. To drive 140 [km/h] on the back straight, there was not a damaged car, so I don’t understand why we have to drive so slowly. We have to investigate.”
The 24-year old then went on to compare the current Aston Martin safety car to the Mercedes safety car by adding, “For sure, the Mercedes safety car is faster because of the extra aero because this Aston Martin is really slow. It definitely needs more grip because our tyres were stone cold. It’s pretty terrible the way we are driving behind the safety car at the moment.”
The Aston Martin safety car, which was driven by Bernd Maylander, was brought into action on two occasions in Sunday’s race after Carlos Sainz went off the track and Sebastian Vettel crashed later on in the race. Since the Mercedes safety car is about five seconds faster per lap, Verstappen was frustrated with the Aston Martin safety car for moving so slow.
Charles Leclerc wins Australian GP to extend championship lead
Even though only three races have taken place in the F1 2022 season, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc has already developed a substantial lead in the Drivers’ Championship. The Monégasque has 71 points and is a staggering 34 points clear of second-placed George Russell.
On the other hand, reigning world champion Max Verstappen has endured an extremely difficult start to the season as he has just scored 25 points. All of the Dutchman’s points came after his outstanding victory at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Meanwhile, he was forced to retire from the race for no fault of his own in both other races.