Max on differences between Renault and Honda

Date published: October 18 2021 - Henry Valantine

Max Verstappen with his Honda liveried Red Bull. Turkey October 2021

Max Verstappen has said Red Bull’s relationship with Honda is “much more integrated” than the team’s time with Renault.

There were clear tensions between Red Bull team principal Christian Horner and former Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul when the French manufacturer supplied Red Bull with engines, given their lack of performance compared to rivals Mercedes and Ferrari.

The switch to Honda has since proven beneficial for Red Bull not just in terms of performance, but as the World Championship leader said, in terms of how they work together on a day-to-day basis.

“The relationship is different now, purely because we work much more integrated than before,” Verstappen told reporters.

“It’s just a very different mentality, and I’m not saying that to criticise Renault, but it’s very different. I really enjoy working with Honda.”

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Red Bull Powertrains has now been established in the wake of Honda’s imminent departure and, while the Japanese marque will continue to aid the team in their development into 2022 as a transition, they have since said when it comes to the new engine formula’s arrival in 2026, Red Bull will be designing their new power unit unaided.

The team’s recruitment drive has seen them headhunt several members of Mercedes’ power unit division. With pieces starting to fall into place in preparation for becoming their own ‘factory’ team for engine supply, their lead driver is feeling happy with how much effort the team are investing in the project.

“Of course, we are fully committed to that now, so I have a lot of confidence in that,” Verstappen said.

“Only time will show how it will go. You can’t fill that in yet. Red Bull is, of course, doing everything it can to make it a success.”

Red Bull’s one-off Honda livery in Istanbul received widespread approval for how it looked on their car, which was put in place in recognition for the partnership the team and engine manufacturer have created in recent seasons.

Given the sometimes testy relationship Red Bull previously had with Renault, the Dutchman enjoyed seeing the two companies come together for that special tribute.

 

“The livery was intended for the Japanese Grand Prix weekend in Suzuka, but it is nice that we still put it on the car in Turkey,” Verstappen said, quoted by RacingNews365.

“That shows how good the relationship is. [It was] very nice to see.”