Max about the commitment at Red Bull: 'Everyone gives 100 percent'

Published on 18 October 2019 by Kees-Jan Koster

In the tv programme Formula 1 Café on Ziggo Sport, Max Verstappen discussed the disappointing results of the Japanese Grand Prix, the current situation in the team and the developments for next year.

The weekend in Suzuka ended badly after contact with Charles Leclerc in turn two. After the race Max and Charles had to come to the stewards to tell their side of what happened. Subsequently the Monégasque was given a penalty. Max explains how such a visit to the stewards works: “Both of you go to the stewards. They have all the footage, can review everything and have all the information. Tom Kristensen was there, two permanent stewards who have been there before and a local steward were there. They asked what we thought had happened and we can then explain that first. On the basis of our information and of course on the basis of their own insights they decide what to do. You go there somewhat prepared. I had reviewed the footage from all the camera angles and from within the other cars. In the end it was very clear. I went there, but really I should not have needed to be there.”

The time penalty of five seconds given to Leclerc for the incident and another penalty of ten seconds for driving on with a damaged front wing, did not make much of a difference for Verstappen: “In the end it does not make a difference”, says Max about the penalty for the Ferrari driver.  “I was out of the race, so whatever penalty het gets, it does not help me. But is was good that he was given a penalty in the end. If they had not done that, I think many people would have had questions.”

Asked if Aston Martin Red Bull Racing was too conservative this season, Max answers: “In qualifying we come short on the straights anyway. Everyone was in each other’s slipstream, within five to six seconds of each other. That will give you one and a half to two tenths. In the first sector you want to be six seconds behind, but in the last sector you win time. I did my qualifying lap all on my own, and that happens more often, that you do not get a slipstream. These cars are very sensitive to that. In the end we could have been fifth or in the best scenario third. We do not have much to lose, so I think we could take some more risks. Then I would hope to make just that extra step in qualifying to end ahead of Mercedes or Ferrari.”

After the departure of the experienced Daniel Ricciardo has Max had this year Pierre Gasly and rookie Alexander Albon as teammates. Verstappen does not think it would have made a huge difference with regard to the development of the RB15: “I do not think Daniel would have made a large contribution to that. I do think that last year we were able to test two different setups on the Friday. In the end you could then take the best combination, or choose to go one direction. Especially if you now go with a rookie to a circuit he does not know, you cannot expect him to work on the best setup straight away. He will get to know the track first. Now it if often to my side of the garage to try different things, but because we are quite limited on how much we can drive, we cannot do a lot. In the end the car has to be developed further using the wind tunnel, and the setup will not change that a lot. We need new wings, a new floor, everything needs to be in constant development, but I think we were not as strong in that as in previous years.”

And finally Max explains what is going to happen to perform better next year: “Everyone gives 100 percent, and everyone tries to get the best out of it. Only this year it seemed, maybe because the new front wing, a bit more difficult for us. That is what we have to look at this winter. Of course we have many ideas for next year to improve. Some things worked well this year, others not so good, but there are always things we can do better. I think we know what did not go so well and we took measures for next year, we will see.”