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Verstappen hopeful of Japan fight with fresh Honda engine

  • Published on 08 Oct 2019 18:06
  • comments 1
  • By: Dieter Rencken & Fergal Walsh

Max Verstappen is hopeful that his fresh Honda engine will allow him to be in the fight at this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix.

Verstappen took a grid penalty at the Russian Grand Prix last time out, dropping five places after receiving a new internal combustion engine ahead of the weekend. 

The upcoming event at the Suzuka Circuit will be Honda's first home race while powering the senior Red Bull team, having already competed in 2018 with Toro Rosso.

With two race wins under his belt this year so far, Verstappen admits that the back straight without DRS could be "painful" for Red Bull - however he is remaining optimistic. 

"Looking at last year in Suzuka, I think Ferrari was also very fast," Verstappen said. "But of course we had our moments in the race together, but I still expect that we could have a strong weekend there.

"There's still quite a long straight down the back without DRS that could be painful, but we'll see. We'll have a fresh engine there, let's see how we'll compare against Ferrari and Mercedes.

"I expect both teams to be quick, probably Mercedes more in sector one, and Ferrari towards sector three. That's how it has been the whole year."

Verstappen also joked that the Japanese fans, who traditionally have been some of the most passionate of the season, will have to split the colours to accommodate the Dutch orange. 

"Let's see if we have the chance of winning, but after the success that we've had this year, which I think many didn't expect to happen, I hope a lot of fans are coming to the track.

"It will just be a bit of a question mark on what they're going to wear," Verstappen laughed. "They have white and red on their flag but with Dutch involved, they wear a lot of orange so maybe they'll have to split the shirts."

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  • I don't really like the word "cringe", but I did ...cringe... a bit with that last section.

    • + 0
    • Oct 9 2019 - 17:37
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Formula 1 Calendar - 2019

Date
Grand Prix
Circuit
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Spain
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Spain
15 - Mar 17
Australia
29 - Mar 31
Bahrain
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Bahrain
12 - Apr 14
China
26 - Apr 28
Azerbaijan
10 - May 12
Spain
-
Spain
23 - May 26
Monaco
7 - Jun 9
Canada
21 - Jun 23
France
28 - Jun 30
Austria
12 - Jul 14
United Kingdom
26 - Jul 28
Germany
2 - Aug 4
Hungary
30 - Sep 1
Belgium
6 - Sep 8
Italy
20 - Sep 22
Singapore
27 - Sep 29
Russian
11 - Oct 13
Japan
25 - Oct 27
Mexico
1 - Nov 3
United States of America
15 - Nov 17
Brazil
29 - Dec 1
United Arab Emirates
See full schedule

Formula 1 Calendar - 2019

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
15 - Mar 17
Australia Albert Park
29 - Mar 31
12 - Apr 14
26 - Apr 28
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
10 - May 12
23 - May 26
Monaco Monte Carlo
7 - Jun 9
21 - Jun 23
France Paul Ricard
28 - Jun 30
Austria Red Bull Ring
12 - Jul 14
United Kingdom Silverstone
26 - Jul 28
Germany Hockenheimring
2 - Aug 4
Hungary Hungaroring
30 - Sep 1
6 - Sep 8
Italy Monza
20 - Sep 22
27 - Sep 29
Russian Sochi Autodrom
11 - Oct 13
25 - Oct 27
1 - Nov 3
United States of America Circuit of the Americas
15 - Nov 17
Brazil Interlagos
29 - Dec 1
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
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