Verstappen explains relentless Renault criticism

Max Verstappen says it was never his intention to ‘put Renault down’ with his criticism of the engine manufacturer throughout the 2018 Formula 1 season.

Verstappen explains relentless Renault criticism

The Red Bull driver grew increasingly frustrated with Renault over the course of 2018 and was particularly vocal once his team committed to splitting with the French operation at the end of the season.

Verstappen regularly hit out at Renault over the team radio and in the media, while simultaneously talking up Red Bull’s 2019 engine partner Honda.

"It was never my intention to put them down, but I want to make it better,” Verstappen said in a season review with Dutch TV channel Ziggo Sport.

“Look, we now have a deal with Honda, but if we had continued with Renault next year, I would want us to make progress. I am just very clear in what I say.

"I can also say that they can take it easy, but I am not like that. It can and must be better and I just always want full commitment.

“However, you have to be open to criticism, that is how I grew up.

“I'm sorry if you can’t deal with that, but I'm not here to join in with the Olympic idea. I want to win and for that all parties have to be committed."

A Renault failure in Hungary sparked an expletive-laden rant from Verstappen, as did ongoing problems in Singapore despite him qualifying and finishing second. 

Verstappen also personally criticised Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul in Russia. 

Despite Renault’s troubles, Verstappen ended the year with five straight podium finishes and as the most regular challenger to world champion Lewis Hamilton.

That has raised the pressure for Red Bull’s switch to Honda.  

"Hopefully it will be a long-term collaboration", said Verstappen. "I don’t expect that everything runs smoothly at once, but you can’t expect that. 

“I will always be focussed, but you also have to believe in the project and be patient.

“I do not expect that we can really fight for the championship at the start of the season, but if we are just a little bit better than this year, we can be closer to the competition and run a consistent season.

“That is already an improvement for the championship. You do not necessarily need to have the best car."

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB14

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB14

Photo by: Joe Portlock / LAT Images

shares
comments
Hamilton not interested in "super-easy" post-F1 role

Previous article

Hamilton not interested in "super-easy" post-F1 role

Next article

Best driver, biggest surprise, star team: Our F1 2018 review

Best driver, biggest surprise, star team: Our F1 2018 review
Load comments
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Prime

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Prime

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers Prime

How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory Prime

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form Prime

How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form

A Formula 1 pitstop is a rapid-fire blend of high technology and human performance. PAT SYMONDS describes how the science of margin gains makes stops so quick

Formula 1
Oct 10, 2021
Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems Prime

Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton dominated the opening day of action for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, on the Istanbul circuit’s much improved track surface. But the Black Arrows squad’s position isn’t quite what it seems. Here’s why...

Formula 1
Oct 8, 2021
The rise and fall of Lotus as an F1 superpower Prime

The rise and fall of Lotus as an F1 superpower

On 8 October 1961, Innes Ireland claimed victory at the United States Grand Prix to herald the true arrival of a new Formula 1 giant. While Team Lotus endured plenty of highs and lows until the team folded over three decades later, Colin Chapman's squad made F1 history and helped shape the championship.

Formula 1
Oct 8, 2021