Verstappen hopes Red Bull will be a 2020 contender

Mat Coch

Friday 21st September, 2018 - 7:19am

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Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen hopes Red Bull will be a Formula 1 championship contender in 2020 after the team switches to Honda power next season.

Suggestions within the paddock claim Honda produces the least powerful engine in the field, putting out in the region of 930bhp versus the 950bhp of Renault, and more than one thousand of Mercedes.

Verstappen suggests the Red Bull chassis is making up for some of that current deficit, but suggests once Honda in onboard it will also make rapid progress.

“I think we have the best car in the field, as we found out in Singapore,” he claimed.

“Of course we hope that next year with a new engine supplier it will continue in the right direction.

“We already have the right people on board, but the whole package is not yet right.

“That will also be difficult next year, but I hope we will have a real chance the following year.”

Honda already supplies sister team Toro Rosso, which expects a new specification engine to be ready for Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley for next weekend’s Russian Grand Prix.

It’s the first upgrade since the Austrian Grand Prix, but despite the comparatively slow development this year Verstappen has faith the relationship Japanese manufacturer will bear fruit.

“First of all because of the budget they have, which is many times bigger than that of our current engine supplier,” Verstappen asserted.

“Furthermore, they just go in the right direction, also in terms of test bench results. Moreover, they really, really want to win.

“We already have the mentality to want to win in the team but now the other side, the engine, still has to be done and we will certainly get that next year.”

Red Bull currently sits in an unchallenged third in the constructors’ championship, 183 points clear of Renault but 141 off the back of second placed Ferrari.

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