Verstappen: McLaren woes led to Honda's "careful" Red Bull start

Scott Mitchell
Motorsport

’s Red Bull team split with Renault to partner with Honda for 2019, and the 21-year-old has won two of the 12 races before F1’s summer break.

Both have come since a breakthrough in form for Red Bull at the Austrian Grand Prix, where a revised front wing on the car coincided with Honda eking more performance from its Spec 3 engine.

Verstappen told Motorsport.com that “I’m of course happy” with his start to the season, in which he has established himself as the nearest challenger to Mercedes drivers in the championship.

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“Starting the new partnership with Honda I was always very cautious,” he said. “I knew they were great people and they would get good results, but obviously we had our own little issues at the beginning of the year with the car not being exactly what we wanted it to be for some reason.

“We kept working hard, the factory also kept pushing very hard with new parts for the car very quickly, reacting.

“Of course Adrian [Newey] being on top of it, and I think very quickly we sorted out a car which was again really nice to drive.

“From Austria onwards, when we brought a few new bits, that seemed to be a turnaround for us, where we could finally really start pushing the car.

“I think also the engine we started to take more out of it, because I felt like Honda didn't want to break down.

"You can see we are pushing a bit harder, but it's still fine. But after all the negative stuff they had at McLaren with all the engines blowing up and other things, they were a bit careful, and I think that is the right approach.”

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15 <span class="copyright">Mark Sutton / Sutton Images</span>
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15 Mark Sutton / Sutton Images

Mark Sutton / Sutton Images

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