The rather hot headed 5 time Grand Prix winner from Red Bull Racing last night made the statement that “Everyone in the factory is even more motivated than before.”
The Austrian TV show Servus TV televised the annual Red Bull Gala in Salzburg last night, and on the show were Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko and Max Verstappen.
With the pair was MotoGP Honda rider Jorge Lorenzo and the conversation began with a comment on Lewis Hamilton, who had been riding the Jerez circuit with a Yamaha Superbike who made no secret of his admiration for the MotoGP stars.
At this point, the question was asked of Marko as to when Max would be riding on a GP bike. There was a degree of lightheartedness and banter to the evening, with even the usually steely Dr Marko quipping back: “Maybe after Max’s third world title.”
Jorge Lorenzo pointed out that maybe Max should first ride a smaller machine, Moto3, then Moto 2. Marko immediately replied “Honda does not have those motorcycles for us, only a Honda MotoGP is available. So he’ll have to go to MotoGP right away. “
Max interjected with a statement that “Formula 1 has priority for me, because I do not think so much about riding a motorcycle.”
When describing the Red Bull Racing Christmas party recently, Verstappen explained: “That was very nice with all the people at the factory.”
“For Daniel it was the last celebration with us. A film showing the 2018 season was shown. We had a lot of fun. “
‘Slums’ comment about home time from Hamilton last weekend
Verstappen then describes his highlight of 2018:
” You can not beat a victory in Austria at the Red Bull Ring and in front of so many Dutch fans. Especially because I never expected it on Saturday night. That was the highlight of the year for me. “
“In Mexico, everything was fine for us, because of the altitude, where engine power plays a minor role and we could fully exploit the qualities of the Red Bull Racing chassis.
“We should have won Brazil as well.”
Then the youngster explains how Helmut Marko and father Jos helped him through the difficult patches of the year:
“I learned a lot this year, especially in the first part of the season it was difficult. The talks with Helmut Marko helped me, he was always very open.
“But I’m used to that because I grew up with my dad and he can be very strict! All in all, that’s good, so I came to Formula One. You have to deal with criticism.”
For the 2019 season, Max commented: ” Everything is going very well, everyone is looking forward to the first year with Honda, I can feel one at the factory even more motivation than before. ”
The youngster then revealed that he was to fly straight from the Gala that evening to the UK, to use the Milton Keynes Red Bull Racing simulator today and drive the Honda powered Red Bull chassis for the first time.
“I’m in the simulator, the first time we simulate with the Honda engine. ” explains Verstappen.
What can we expect to hear from the Red Bull driver after his first impressions of the Honda power unit?
This time last year McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne revealed a little about his experience with the then new Renault power unit, replacing the outgoing Honda engine in the back of the McLaren, describing the feeling that it was an “inspired move” for McLaren.
Indeed predictions at the time included podiums when Alonso’s manager Flavio Briatore claimed that “We will be back on the podium with the new McLaren Renault.”.
Alonso concurred saying “We know how good our chassis has been in 2017. Sometimes we were as fast as the top cars at certain areas on track. The chain around the leg is well known.”
Time will tell if the move away from Renault to Honda was a good one for Red Bull, and it’s very probable we’ll hear some comments from Max should there be an unsavoury shock for the Red Bull driver after the simulation testing.