Max Verstappen is reportedly due to begin working with Rupert Manwaring as his performance coach next season, after eight years alongside Carlos Sainz.
A report from Dutch media emerged on Monday claiming that Verstappen’s current performance coach, Bradley Scanes, will be leaving his role at the end of the season, and his replacement has now been reported by RACER’s Chris Medland from Abu Dhabi.
Manwaring has been by Sainz’s side for the vast majority of his Formula 1 career, having moved up to the top tier alongside Verstappen at Toro Rosso back in 2015.
Max Verstappen makes key behind-the-scenes hire
Additional reporting by Thomas Maher
The report from De Telegraaf in the Netherlands cited Scanes’ hope to spend more time with family and friends for his reason behind leaving his role with Verstappen, with the F1 calendar set to grow to a record 24 races next year.
But the reigning three-time World Champion has acted fast to find a replacement, with the role of performance coach critical in how a driver performs race by race.
Looking back at his record-breaking year, Verstappen admitted he stayed out longer on Sunday to try and break the landmark of leading 1,000 laps over the whole season – but pointed to the incredible reliability of the RB19 for how his season has been for him.
“Well, in general the car has been better than last year and we were very solid in terms of no retirements, no real issues on the car which of course is also a big key to that,” Verstappen told media including PlanetF1.com in Abu Dhabi.
“From my side, every single year I try to do better but I think better – it’s more about just general experience in F1 and trying to put the weekend together a bit more.
“Some weekends that works better than others, and then besides that, just try not to make too many mistakes, try not to get too much damage on the car with the cost cap and stuff, these kinds of things which I think worked quite well.”