Max Verstappen almost didn't sleep before first Honda F1 engine run

Max Verstappen says he "almost didn't sleep" before his first experience of Honda's new Formula 1 engine, and that he has not been so excited "in a long time"

Max Verstappen almost didn't sleep before first Honda F1 engine run

Verstappen's Red Bull team will use Honda engines in F1 this season after finally splitting from long-time partner Renault.

Speaking exclusively to Autosport, Verstappen said his excitement to kick off the new Red Bull-Honda alliance started well before the two promising weeks of official pre-season testing at Barcelona that have just been completed.

"I was very excited to do the filming day at Silverstone," Verstappen said.

"I just wanted to get out and feel how the engine was behaving.

"The night before, I almost didn't sleep. I haven't been that excited in a long time."

Verstappen has been praised by Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko for a more mature approach to pre-season, which Marko said contributed to Red Bull's best-ever testing programme.

Addressing his happier demeanour through testing, Verstappen said: "I'm just a lot more excited.

"It's a new project with Honda and trying to understand everything is very important.

"Testing is there to get you prepared in the best possible way for the beginning of the season because you don't have a lot of time once the season starts to really adjust a lot of things."

Verstappen was critical of Renault during the dissolution of Red Bull's previous engine partnership, because he was disappointed by the French manufacturer's failure to close the gap to Mercedes and Ferrari.

That gave way to the five-time grand prix winner, and senior Red Bull figures, talking up the move to Honda and what it would mean for the team.

While expectations are being kept in check now the new season is approaching, Verstappen said the positivity remains high behind the scenes.

He said there had been no issues integrating Honda's engineers into the Red Bull team and was impressed by Honda's "incredibly focused and calm" working manner.

"It's a very fresh start and everybody is just looking forward to starting to work together and achieve great results," said Verstappen.

"There's a very positive vibe in the team, and maybe it's good just to have fresh motivation to do well.

"Everyone's very much looking forward to getting started, and not only this year, but the year after."

shares
comments
Video: How Formula 1's 2019 rules 'stung' for teams
Previous article

Video: How Formula 1's 2019 rules 'stung' for teams

Next article

Formula 1 outlines two 'strategic priorities' for 2019

Formula 1 outlines two 'strategic priorities' for 2019
Load comments
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup Plus

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. Autosport breaks down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems Plus

Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway. But instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Plus

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Plus

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Plus

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021 Plus

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as STUART CODLING finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton Plus

The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls a remarkable champion

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022