Max at Silverstone: 'With Honda, we'll review per circuit what we can do.'
Published on 11 July 2019 by Stefan Meens
In the run up to the Austrian Grand Prix, nobody expected a repeat result of last year’s race, when Max Verstappen took the win for Aston Martin Red Bull Racing. Nevertheless, the Dutchman delivered an emphatic victory at his team’s home circuit in front of an adoring crowd.
“In the week prior to Austria, we made a lot of progress; our updates worked and we had more power. Also, we told Honda we could take some risks to be a bit closer in qualifying as we’re expecting to take a grid penalty due to an engine swap later in the season anyway”, explains Max.
“It wasn’t a case of demanding changes, that’s not the right way to work with the Japanese. I understand they’re a bit more careful after the tough previous years as an engine supplier. During quali in Austria, we switched to a more aggressive engine mode. We’ll review per circuit if we can do that again.”
After a strong qualifying, resulting in P2 on the grid, Max’ race got of to a dramatic and unfortunately slow start. “The car jumped into anti-stall which meant I couldn’t make a good start. We knew instantly what the issue was, but we couldn't do anything about it.”
Max thinks a repeat of the victory at the Red Bull Ring is unlikely at Silverstone this weekend. “We’d really need temperatures of forty degrees. In Austria, we had less cooling issues compared to Mercedes and we were stronger than Ferrari in the corners. Because of our new front wing and the extra power, we we’re just quicker. However, Silverstone is a different track and we’ll use different tyres. We'll have to keep focussed and stay on top of things.”
The continual stream of upgrades, including the ones propelling Red Bull Racing to victory in Austria, proves a vital part of competing at the front in Formula 1. “We have to keep developing, both the car and the engine. As a driver you always want more grip and power but that’s not easy to obtain, so we keep working hard. Hopefully we can make another step with a new Honda power unit and be even closer to the front.”