Max ahead of French GP: 'Of course, I want to win'
Published on 20 June 2019 by Stefan Meens
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso will both be able to use the new Spec 3 Honda power-unit during the French Grand Prix this weekend. “The power-unit upgrade is another step up”, said Max Verstappen in the run op to the race at Paul Ricard. “It all has to last so they’re making small steps all the time. If that means that we’ll have to use an extra engine later in the year, then so be it.”
The Dutchman continued: “We know in terms of power we still need to make some steps to get equal with Ferrari. We have a better chassis than them, but if you lose more than a second on the straights, it’s going to be difficult. I think Mercedes is better than anybody expected. Maybe, we’re not yet on our usual level like last year. But with Honda, we’re part of a very interesting project and I’m really enjoying it.”
The French Grand Prix is the eighth round of the 2019 championship, a season that has not brought Max a win as of yet. “Of course, I want to win, but you can get a lot of satisfaction if you’re able to perform at your own personal best. Of course, we need to keep improving on both the car and engine front. If we do that, the season will get better.”
Paul Ricard is a unique circuit on the F1 calendar due to its vast, colourful run-off areas. Max explains: “It’s a track with very wide corners you drive in different lines compared to most tracks. It’s a different feel. Last year was the first GP at this track so in the first practice session it took some getting used to. From the helicopter you can see all the different track lay-outs. From the car it’s not as bad.”
As always, tyres are a prime topic for discussion ahead of the Grands Prix this year. “This year’s tyres, with the thinner thread, means the high temperatures have less of an influence. Last year, you had to be careful with blisters, this year that should be different.”