Max Verstappen says that Red Bull has not stopped developing its 2018 car following Lewis Hamilton's comments on Thursday. Hamilton claimed that he was informed the energy drink team had halted development on its 2018 challenger a number of races ago.
“[The team] will let us know in the meeting we have coming up, whether or not Red Bull will play a role in this weekend’s race,” said Hamilton during the Thursday driver's press conference. “But they’ve been there or thereabouts in quite a lot of the races, so you have to assume this is usually a good race for them.
“I think they’ve stopped developing their car quite a long time ago to focus on next year’s car, from what I’ve heard. So they’re just driving with what they have,” he added.
However Verstappen has denied Hamilton's claims, stating that he is "not sure" how Hamilton got that information before saying it is "not true". Red Bull has won three Grands Prix this year, with the last one coming at the Austrian Grand Prix. While it expects to be closer to Mercedes and Ferrari in Singapore, Verstappen admits that victory will be tough.
“Looking at it realistically I think we are down on power more than last year and last year we were already three tenths down in qualifying compared to Seb[astian Vettel]. So it will be hard but never say never. I think our car is really good. I just hope we can extract a little bit more out of the engine of good. For sure we’ll push very hard to get the best result.”
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing