Red Bull and Honda understand each other - Verstappen


Max Verstappen says a clear communication between Red Bull Racing and Honda has enabled the two partners to crucially understand each other in their working environment.

Beyond Honda's difficulties of producing a competitive and reliable engine when it entered F1 with McLaren in 2015, the Japanese company also suffered from a communication deficit with its then partner.

The McLaren-Honda relationship crumbled, lost in translation, but the manufacturer has since improved its procedures, thanks in part to its 'proof of concept' year with Red Bull's Toro Rosso.

According to Verstappen, Red Bull and Honda were on the same wavelength during pre-season testing.

"Working together with the Honda engineers was really nice and pleasant because they knew exactly what I was talking about," said the Dutchman, speaking in Tokyo last weekend ahead of this week's season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

"We really understood each other, the communication felt very easy going.

"That is very important for the season ahead, especially in critical conditions in the race when you don’t have a lot of time to decide,"

"I think we already understand each other very well.

"That’s why I think also those first few weeks they are very important to get to know each other a lot more and feel and understand each other and the way you are working. So a very positive two weeks."


Solid reliability, a domain where Honda's unit has made great strides, helped Red Bull achieve good mileage in Barcelona and boost Verstappen's confidence

"I was surprised with the reliability because we did a lot of laps and we basically never really got stopped by any issues. That’s of course what you want in testing."

Red Bull's charger also commended Honda on the inherent qualities of its V6 Hybrid power unit.

"I think for me what was the most important is to just feel the new engine," added Verstappen.

"It’s a completely different power unit so I just wanted to get used to driveability, I wanted to understand down-shifting, all these kind of things.

"And I was very positively surprised, it was all feeling very good. We didn’t really have to change a lot around it to make it really driveable and nice. So that was a big positive."

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