Verstappen suffers shock Australian GP exit

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Max Verstappen’s impressive streak of Formula 1 race finishes came to an end at the Australian Grand Prix.

The three-time World Champion lost the lead of the race on lap two before smoke start emitting from the rear of his car.

It soon became clear that there was an issue with the RB19 as Verstappen peeled off the racing line to let the competition by.

The Dutchman pitted shortly after where Red Bull mechanics sprayed an extinguisher on the rear right brakes, where fire was prominent.

Replays showed parts being thrown across the track after explosions both at the penultimate corner and on entry to the pit lane.

It marked Verstappen’s first race retirement since the Australian Grand Prix two years ago, where once again he was hit by a mechanical issue.

His run of 43 consecutive race finishes is the second-most in F1 history, trailing only Lewis Hamilton’s streak of 48.

Verstappen was on course to match his record of consecutive race wins in Melbourne before being forced into retirement.

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