Max Verstappen excited by bespoke Honda F1 engine design prospect

Max Verstappen says the prospect of Honda designing its Formula 1 engine entirely around the requirements of Red Bull and Toro Rosso gives him faith in his team's 2019 decision

Max Verstappen excited by bespoke Honda F1 engine design prospect

After months of deliberations, Red Bull announced this week that it would end its 12-year Renault relationship to join sister team Toro Rosso in using Hondas from next year.

Though Red Bull was Renault's primary F1 partner during its 2010-13 title run, in recent seasons it has been purely a customer after Renault re-established its own works team programme.

Verstappen, whose father Jos was part of an aborted works Honda F1 project in the late nineties (pictured below), made an encouraging visit to the Japanese manufacturer's facility last year after began working with Toro Rosso.

"I believe in it, and the team clearly believes in it because they signed the deal," he said of Honda.

"It's exciting as well. You have Honda basically working for Red Bull and Toro Rosso only, so it's purely designed around your car. I think that also is very good.

"I spoke with them [Red Bull's management] for a long time about what I thought of it.

"Of course I knew this [was happening] already earlier than you guys. They always kept me quite close because I like to understand what's going to happen with the team in the future."

JONATHAN NOBLE: The unintended consequences of Red Bull's decision

Regarding his visit Honda's Sakura base he said: "The facility looked very nice. It was good to have a walk around and see the differences between Honda and Renault's factories.

"It was quite impressive how they've built up all the facilities and the dynos and stuff. It all looked very efficient."

Verstappen's team-mate Daniel Ricciardo remains unsure whether Honda or Renault is the best option.



"Honestly, I still don't really know," he said.

"Obviously Renault's come a pretty long way this year.

"I know we still don't have the qualifying modes, but our race pace, once we're all fuel saving and all that, we seem a lot more competitive. So they're improving.

"As you can see Honda seems to be improving with Toro Rosso.

"I think it's fair to say they're both on the up - it's just who's going to get there quicker, that's still the unknown.

"Obviously Red Bull believe that Honda are the right ones."

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