Mar.27 - Intrigue surrounding Max Verstappen's first technical DNF for a full two years is only swelling, after he retired early in Melbourne with a stuck rear brake and subsequent fire.

Brembo, a leading F1 brake supplier, has come out to deny speculation it was a component failure, insisting it was "probably" caused by car setup issues.

Charles Leclerc also had brake issues with his Brembo-equipped Ferrari in Bahrain, amid rumours Red Bull switched from rival brake supplier Carbon Industrie over the winter.

Earlier this week, Red Bull F1 consultant Dr Helmut Marko told Speed Week: "We still have to find out exactly what caused Max's brake defect, as the majority of the team is still scattered around the world after Melbourne."

One wild theory is that the failure is somehow related to the internal strife inside Red Bull at present, including the Christian Horner saga and management power struggle.

"It was either a mechanical problem with the brake, or someone forgot to do something," former F1 driver Giedo van der Garde said on the drs De Race Show podcast.

"It's certainly strange that this happened right now at Red Bull," said the Dutchman. "I'm not saying it's sabotage - certainly not.

"But when there are internal messes in a team like that, people can make mistakes. We haven't seen it in two years. It was such a well-oiled machine. Everything ran so perfectly.

"So does this have something to do with what's going on at the top?" van der Garde wonders.

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