Verstappen: Poor race starts a 'mystery' Honda must solve


Red Bull's Max Verstappen admits his lousy race starts have become a random occurrence in 2019, insisting the problem is rooted mainly in the characteristics of his Honda engine.

Excessive wheelspin led to Vertappen's tardy launch at Spa, which in turn set the Dutchman up for a collision with Alfa's Kimi Raikkonen at La Source and his subsequent demise at Eau Rouge.

Bogged down starts and wheelspin have happened frequently this season for the Red Bull charger, although in each case he followed the prescribed modus operandi.

"We have a certain procedure which needs to be as steady as possible," explained Verstappen on Ziggo Sport's Monday Peptalk show.

"I have been doing that for four years now at Red Bull, but we are struggling this year to keep the wheel spin steady.

"There is even a difference with every engine. So it’s always a mystery if it will be okay or not.

"This year it’s gone wrong quite a few times, so we very well know what we need to work on. At this moment, we haven’t been able to keep it steady yet."

Verstappen says Red Bull and Honda are working to solve an underlying issue more dependent on the power unit itself than the actual procedure.

"Looking at the entire season, we were the second best team regarding the starts last year," he added.

"The year before that also, so I really don’t think that we are suddenly unable to do a good start. The procedure with the clutch is the same. We are talking millimeters here, it’s that precise.


"But apart from that, it’s still always unknown how the engine will handle your input. Sometimes there can be a delay or vice versa.

"How aggressively the clutch is set can also be controlled by the team. I just need to focus on following the same procedure every time, but you are also dependent on things that are also involved with it."

Verstappen believes it will take some time for Honda to iron out the start procedure inconsistencies.

"You can try out a lot during testing and Honda is currently busy with that," he said.

"They can see things that need to be improved, but it takes time. That is because it has to do with some characteristics of the engine."

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