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Verstappen’s Belgian GP exit down to ‘safety mode’ sensor

30 August 2017

Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen has spoken of his frustration with engine supplier Renault after it was revealed that his early exit from the Belgian Grand Prix was caused by a safety mode sensor rather than an outright failure.

The driver was in fifth position at Spa-Francorchamps when he was forced to retire after his engine simply switched off. He has revealed that the engine started again when it was in the garage, with the problem being revealed as a sensor which detected an increase in pressure within one of the cylinders.

Venting his frustrations to Dutch TV show Peptalk, Verstappen said that safety measures designed to improve reliability have themselves caused problems.

“Because we blew up a few engines at the beginning of the season, they have built a kind of safety mode,” Verstappen explained. “But at that moment, when the engine goes into that, it doesn’t run any more. So when the car came back, they removed the plug, put it back again and the engine worked.

“They want to play safe and not to blow the engine, but I prefer that [blowing the engine] than it shuts down the engine and it runs again at the next restart.”

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