The happy honeymoon appears to be heading to a happy marriage if Max Verstappen’s observations are anything to go by with regards to Red Bull’s new Honda-powered era while suggesting he might learn Japanese in the process!
After the McLaren debacle, the Red Bull project with Honda appears to be flourishing, first with Toro Rosso running the power units last year, and now the Red Bull senior team run them for Verstappen and Pierre Gasly.
For now, there is peace and harmony, plus mutual admiration as the Dutchman explained in an interview published on his website, “So far I’m really happy with the power unit. I think the driveability and everything connected to it, feels very smooth. Working together with Honda, so far has been great.”
“We can solve problems really quickly, which I think is very important during the season. They are very well prepared and from our side we are very excited to work together. Hopefully, we will have a lot of good moments this year.”
Last year Red Bull paid for the use of Renault engines, this year the team are a works outfit with all the benefits that come with such an arrangement, “To have a big brand like Honda behind you, for both Red Bull teams, is great. The more information we can get, the more both teams will benefit. Going from one single team to now two teams will help both of us and we will get better performance.”
The final Red Bull years with Renault were fractious and painful, with Verstappen moaner-in-chief when times were bad for the partnership while Honda were under constant criticism from McLaren during the final season os their failed partnership.
“It is about now, it is not about the past,” insists Verstappen. “Honda has now started to work with us. I think it is important to give them the feedback about what’s happening at the time. We are on a good way with that. Maybe I will need to learn a bit of Japanese!”
“The feeling in the garage is very positive. Everybody is very motivated for this season. It’s a chance to achieve something big, together with Honda. The working relationship has been going really well so far. Everybody knows what to do and is super focussed. That’s great to see,” added the 21-year-old ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix weekend.