Verstappen: I love working with Honda

Jamie Woodhouse
Max Verstappen is a "young Ayrton Senna" in Honda's eyes.

Max Verstappen is a "young Ayrton Senna" in Honda's eyes.

Max Verstappen says he “loves” working with Honda due to their attention to detail, all the way down to their “stickers and wires”.

After supplying the power units for junior team Toro Rosso in 2018, Honda stepped up to also supply the main Red Bull team for 2019.

It’s safe to say that it was a successful campaign with Verstappen claiming three wins, while Honda suffered no race-day engine failures during the campaign.

The Dutchman has his eyes set on challenging for the Drivers’ Championship in 2020, and he has total confidence that the Red Bull-Honda partnership can deliver.

“I think it went very well,” he said when asked by how he felt the first season with Honda went.

“The beginning is always guessing what they’re going to bring throughout the year, but I think they’ve made some really big improvements.

“What was very important compared to what we have before was the reliability.

“This year, we’ve never retired because of a Honda issue. If you want to fight for a World Championship, that is what you need.

“So I am very, very impressed with the way they are working.

“I really love working with them because they are people of not too many words – and that’s exactly like me! But very focused on what they have to do.

“I just really, really enjoy working with them. They are very professional.

“It’s also about how the wires connect on to the engine, the stickers matching the other stickers, for what is connected on the engine [going] to the wire, which is then connecting that [next bit].

“It’s little things, but for me, it’s so important. It’s the detail, attention to detail, which needs to be there.”

The introduction of Honda’s Spec 4 engine in 2019 caused issues for Verstappen due to the grid penalties it triggered, but he thinks the performance boost it gave made it worthwhile.

“Especially the Spec 4, we knew that was going to be a big step,” he said.

“I just kept asking, ‘can we have it already, can we have it already?’. It was a good step forward.

“They just keep pushing very hard to try and bring the improvements and there is no limit.

“They will do everything for it.”

Verstappen would finish the 2019 campaign P3 in the Championship, making it his best season in F1, while he also topped qualifying on three occasions – the most of any Red Bull driver in the V6 turbo-hybrid era.

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