As darkness fell at Albert Park on Sunday night, Christian Horner would not confirm that brake failure pitched pole sitter and race leader Sebastian Vettel out of the Australian grand prix.
After the spark plug problem in Bahrain, German Vettel, 22, initially told his team over the radio – and then reporters in the paddock – that he thought his left-front brake disc had failed.
But team boss Horner would not confirm the problem.
“Sebastian unfortunately retired with what looks like a wheel related issue, which certainly cost him a comfortable race win today,” said the Briton.
Horner also told German ‘Sky’ television that Vettel’s “had a problem with the left front wheel”.
“We do not yet understand exactly what happened,” he added.
“It’s very frustrating, but we have a very fast car and we must solve the problem before next week (in Malaysia).”
“I had no worries about the front wing, but a few corners later it went off and got stuck under the car. At first I had no idea what had happened. I had no control anymore,” he said.
And Mark Webber was formally reprimanded by the stewards for running into Lewis Hamilton towards the end of the race.
Meanwhile, Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi – who already had two front wing failures at Albert Park – confirmed that his third wing failure on the first lap seems to have been the result of earlier contact.
The Japanese took out Williams’ Nico Hulkenberg in the heavy shunt that followed.