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Verstappen 'never intended' to put Renault down

  • Published on 10 Dec 2018 12:04
  • comments 8
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Max Verstappen says that it wasn't his intention to "put Renault down" in his criticism of its engine throughout the 2018 campaign. Verstappen was often heard expressing his disgruntlement over the outfit's inability to match the power units of Mercedes and Ferrari.

Red Bull opted to split from Renault for Honda units for the 2019 season. The Japanese manufacturer has worked with Red Bull's junior squad, Toro Rosso, throughout the 2018 season.

The Renault units not only proved to have a pace disadvantage compare to its rivals, but it also lagged behind in terms of reliability. But Verstappen claims that his comments were not made in order to make Renault look bad.

"It was never my intention to put them down, but I want to make it better," Verstappen said to Ziggo Sport. "We now have a deal with Honda, but if we had continued with Renault next year, I would want us to make progress.

"I am just very clear in what I say. I can also say that they can take it easy, but I am not like that. It can and must be better, and I just always want full commitment.

“However, you have to be open to criticism, that is how I grew up. I'm sorry if you can’t deal with that, but I'm not here to join in with the Olympic idea. I want to win, and for that, all parties have to be committed."

Although Honda is also still not up to similar speeds compared to Mercedes and Ferrari, it has made improvements over the last 12 months with Toro Rosso. Ahead of its maiden campaign with Red Bull, Verstappen played down the prospect of a title challenge: “I do not expect that we can really fight for the championship at the start of the season,” he said.

“But if we are just a little bit better than this year, we can be closer to the competition and run a consistent season, that is already an improvement for the championship. You do not necessarily need to have the best car."

Replies (8)

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  • What a spineless weasel. He is now sucking up to Renault just in case they out perform 10 engines a season Red bull Honda next year! Bet that's his plan B he was on about, jump ship to Renault.

    • + 2
    • Dec 10 2018 - 14:25
    • boudy

      Posts: 1,168

      Nope, he's correct. Every year Renault said that they would close to gap to Mercedes, Renault failed to do so every year. Why would he go to Renault surely Mercedes or Ferrari are better choices. Plan B is Mercedes I think.

      You could argue about the benefits of complaining that it doesn't really improve the situation either way. However he's not interested in joining a team that's around 4th place.

      • + 1
      • Dec 10 2018 - 18:05
  • Its kinda hard to consider an unprofessional racer for an empty race seat isnt it? However, Redbull and Verstappen is a match made in heaven.

    • + 1
    • Dec 10 2018 - 15:24
  • blade

    Posts: 341

    Can't fault him wearing his heart on his sleeve, I mean - the paddock is full of drones and you know (with, perhaps the exception of kimi and rich) what words will flow in any given question pre and post race. He's box office and needs to proper title challenge to show he has a season-long stamina for the fight. Fingers crossed for 2019.

    • + 0
    • Dec 10 2018 - 18:12
  • Honesty is one thing, having a loose mouth is another. I generally regard myself as very honest, yet I always try to choose my words with care (even here, although the words chosen here are mostly just for extra dramatic impact and comedy). Seeing as Im in healthcare, I kinda need that to make sure the people I care for and colleagues from all kinda places get treated in a respectful fashion. Its almost just as important in F1, where you basically is the face of your own brand, a team and tons of sponsors backing said brand and team. Alonso was ridiulously skilled, yet I'd dare say his loose mouth didnt help his chances.

    • + 1
    • Dec 10 2018 - 19:42
    • presic

      Posts: 21

      True. Yet in the heat of the moment, and being frustrated that the promises made did not lead to an actual gain, especially when your chassis is basically the best in the field, of course you look at the weakest part of your package. And yes, being truthful and honest, or just blunt, may be the same but give different appreciations from the public. Nobody said he was a poet... he was raised at 100% max level all the time. it has brought him this success. It's true what he says and maybe he can be more diplomatic once in a while. He'll possibly learn a bit. See his comment in the article above.... :-)

      • + 0
      • Dec 11 2018 - 07:02
    • You dont need to be a poet to control your tongue. What is in this article is referred to as backtracking. It rarely appeaces those it pisses of, especially when it comes to corporate people, nor is it really a sign of growth.

      • + 1
      • Dec 11 2018 - 09:22
  • blade

    Posts: 341

    I get the argument on both sides - my point is that it takes all sorts of characters to make a spectacle of the sport. Look at tennis (Hewitt, McEnroe, Kyrios, Connors, S.Wiliams), go back to F1 (Hunt, Mansell, Senna, Schumacher....), I think people pay to watch these guys, I don't see a difference with Max - young, hot-blooded, good looking, F1 stereotype - box office imo. He's his own man and team will be falling over themselves to sign him if he were available. F1 should be louder (including the cars !!) and more brash - not tame and tepid.

    • + 0
    • Dec 11 2018 - 10:53

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AT Grand Prix of Austria

Local time 

  • Fridayweather-image

  • Free practice 1

    11:00 - 12:30

    Free practice 2

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