Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Monza, 2019

Verstappen not concerned by second engine penalty in three races

2019 Russian Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen is not concerned about incurring a grid penalty for the second time in three races after having another new engine fitted to his Red Bull.

Honda has brought the upgrade for all four of its drivers’ cars, allowing its latest engine to be run ahead of its home race in two weeks’ time.

“I like taking new engines,” joked Verstappen when ashed about taking another penalty, three weeks after starting the Italian Grand Prix from the back of the grid because of his last power unit change. “They look nice.”

Verstappen started last year’s Russian Grand Prix from the back of the grid and believes the penalty won’t be a significant handicap.

“We thought ‘why not?’ Because I don’t think it’s going to hurt us a lot around here. It’s not any more back of the grid, it’s only five places. That’s why I think we went for it.

“Last year we started from the back [and] overtaking didn’t seem like a big problem around here,” he added. “Maybe the midfield teams are a bit more competitive this year but I think it should be all right.

“You might lose a little bit of time to the guys ahead but realistically speaking I think you would anyway qualify in fourth, fifth so it’s not going to change a lot.”

Verstappen believes the engine change “should be” his last of the year.

He also shed light on the team’s unexpectedly poor performance in the Singapore Grand Prix, which Red Bull’s motorsport consultant Helmut Marko suggested was due to a set-up error which originated in their simulator.

“I think we went a different direction than in previous years so maybe not it didn’t work out like we wanted to,” said Verstappen. “Probably little things with the simulator we could have done better.

“But at the end of the day I think the simulator has helped us so much that one weekend where it didn’t work out can happen. Unfortunately it was Singapore but we’ll look into everything to improve it for next year.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 8 comments on “Verstappen not concerned by second engine penalty in three races”

    1. Great stuff, Max! Onward and upward!

    2. This was obviously coming before Japan. Honda really wants to win the Japanese GP.

    3. If Max/RBR start coming into championship contention for 2020/1, one hopes Honda gets its power/reliability mix on par with Mercedes and Ferrari.

      It’s all fun and games when you’re chasing individual race wins, not so much when stringing together a title-challenging campaign.

      1. Isn’t that what they are trying to do with all of these updates?

        RBR/Max are usually stronger in the second half of the season for some reason. If the season started in Austria, then Max, Ham and Leclerc would be battling for the championship. If they can carry over this performance to all season next year, then there might be an actual championship battle.

        1. If the season started in Austria and it being the first race of the season, the results would have gone pretty much as they did from Australia onwards. Merc turned up with a car ready to take 1-2s. It took RB and Ferrari a while to get their act together. So no, had the season started in Austria Max,Ham and Led wouldn’t be fighting for the championship. But hey, if it makes you feel better…sure.

      2. just going by my gutguestimate I thought that Honda so far had the best reliability, and even their power seems to be close (most improved).

      3. If Red Bull-Honda don’t manage to be competitive for a full season without penalties here and there for 2020, they’ll lose Verstappen.

        He knows he’s ready to take the fight to Hamilton, but the team isn’t up there yet and after 4 seasons, doesn’t look closer than it was when he got there.

        1. To be honest when he arrived at red Bull it was Mercedes what ruled F1 then Renault couldn’t deliver. So This season is promising so far, and yes 4 specs is for the engine development so they can start next year with a much stronger engine which the chassis development could give a good start.

          Max wil only jump if there is place for him at the other 2 teams as he isn’t go ‘lesser’ team.

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