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Verstappen: Red Bull's long run pace looks promising

  • Published on 03 Mar 2019 13:38
  • comments 5
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Max Verstappen says that Red Bull's race pace during pre-season testing "looks promising" as the team prepares for a new era with Honda.

The energy drink squad dropped Renault engines at the end of 2018 to start a new partnership with Honda, who spent the 2018 campaign with Red Bull's junior squad Toro Rosso.

Red Bull's pre-season testing programme was met with a few obstacles as Pierre Gasly crashed the RB15 on multiple occasions, with one occurring on the penultimate day of running, which hampered Verstappen's final day in the car on Friday.

However, the Dutchman is pleased with the long-run pace of the car, but says that its true potential won't be known until the season gets underway.

"We’ll see on Saturday [in Melbourne]," he said. "Hopefully, on Sunday we’ll be there. If we look to the longer runs, it looks all pretty promising, so yeah, I’m looking forward to start racing now.

“I think we have a pretty good package, and also the engine seems to work really well. So I’m really happy about that.”

Early suggestions are that Ferrari and Mercedes are once again the picks of the field, having contended for the title over the last two seasons. While admitting that they look quick, Verstappen says he is not too worried about the performance of his rivals.

"They are always going to be quick,” Verstappen commented. “It’s always difficult to say if we haven’t done a run like they did but I’m not too worried about it. 

“They are very quick, but I’m happy with what we’ve done so far. The long run pace we had was very promising, but Melbourne is a different track again, different temperatures, so it’ll be about finding a good set-up."

Speaking about the Honda engine, Verstappen was left impressed by its performance over the last two weeks: “It was always a question mark for many people how it would perform,” he said. 

“But what we saw already from dyno testing and then again here on track, it was very reliable and it did exactly what I wanted it to do. So I’m very happy about that. 

“In Melbourne, we see where we are. We’ll keep pushing hard to improve like everyone else, but so far not too much to complain about.” 

Replies (5)

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  • Am I childish if I misread one of the lines as "are once again the pr**ks of the field"? Well I mean Im confirmed a 5 year old soul in a 25 year old, and very attractive, body, but more childish than that even.

    I am however glad that things kinda look positive at first glance, and hope that Renault and Honda can catch up, and that Merc' and Ferrari shapes up and stops being the pr**ks of the field!

    • + 0
    • Mar 3 2019 - 15:04
  • Mansell

    Posts: 51

    Until the honda blows up , The manchild will flip his lid again

    • + 0
    • Mar 3 2019 - 19:27
  • Leclerc’s Ferrari is going to daunt the Mercs and Bulls unlike Kimi’s racing duck. Then, the decent race pace of Redbull would be measured up in its truest sense.

    • + 0
    • Mar 4 2019 - 03:51
  • boudy

    Posts: 1,160

    @CALLE.ITW I didn't read that article as negative as that. Verstappen is just stating the obvious in that they don't really know until Australia. Looks like RBR are starting from an higher competitive point than 2018.

    I don't believe that Renault would catch up with the top 3 at the beginning of 2019.

    Verstappen stayed reasonable towards the Renault Engine there are no indications that he would not be the same if an Honda issue arouse.

    The relationship between Honda and RBR and that which Renault had with RBR are completely different. With Renault they paid for their engines as an customer with Honda they don't. Renaults lack of progress into Mercs domination was the catalyst for change.

    • + 0
    • Mar 4 2019 - 12:40
    • Oh no, I didn't interpret it as negative Im just very cautious about it.

      • + 0
      • Mar 4 2019 - 15:13
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