Max Verstappen has revealed that Red Bull saw warning signs of a potential issue prior to his retirement at the Australian Grand Prix.

Verstappen suffered his first DNF in two years last time out at Albert Park, retiring after just four laps.

The reigning world champion had lost the lead of the race before his brakes caught fire.

Brake supplier Brembo insisted the issue on Verstappen’s car – and the one that plagued Charles Leclerc – were not their fault, but the team’s decision.

They noted: “After an investigation at each team, the problems that Leclerc and Verstappen had are not related to Brembo component anomalies or material malfunctions.

“In both cases the problem came from a wrong setup/team choice regarding the car configuration so there is not a direct Brembo responsibility on both car problems.”

Speaking ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix, Verstappen confirmed that Red Bull suspected something was wrong but couldn’t identify what.

“I think we saw already some some signs on Saturday where things were maybe not looking like they should have done,” he said.

“Of course then now in hindsight, yeah, you can say that it was coming from the brake calliper. But we couldn’t find any fault with the car.

“It’s always bad to retire, but when you have a fault in maybe the build spec or whatever, then it’s a bit worse. So we’ll just move on from there and learn from it so that it doesn’t happen again. But normally it shouldn’t.”

Verstappen enjoyed one of his most dominant displays of the season at last year’s Japanese GP.

He took pole by over 0.6s before storming to the race win by 19 seconds.

Looking ahead to this weekend, Verstappen remains confident of returning to winning ways given Red Bull’s prowess in high-speed corners.

“Every year is different,” he said. “But also last year we had a bit of a difficult weekend in Singapore.

“I think if you look at Melbourne, performance-wise, I think we were quick but we didn’t finish the race. That’s not ideal. But our car normally likes the high speed corners, so hopefully that we can show that again this weekend.”