Verstappen ready to accept engine penalties for more power

Max Verstappen says he doesn't mind taking a penalty hit later in the Formula 1 season if it means that Honda's engine performance continues to improve.

Verstappen ready to accept engine penalties for more power

Honda has brought an upgrade to the fourth race of the season in Baku, in part as a response to an issue suffered by Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat in China.

Although the older spec power units are still usable, especially for Friday running, the early change means that all the Honda users are destined to take penalties well before the end of the season.

Verstappen, who is well used to taking penalty hits from Red Bull's Renault days, backs Honda's strategy.

"Actually I'm really happy because they keep pushing really hard to bring updates and that's always good," he said. "I think I showed last year than even when you start in the back you can still finish on the podium, for example like in Austin, so I don't think it a major problem.

"I'm happier if we can say at the end of the season that we really closed the gap to Mercedes and Ferrari in terms of power because we used a few more engines. It's fine."

Verstappen acknowledged that the focus of the Baku upgrade is on reliability rather than outright power.

"It's mainly just about reliability and reliability of the engine, so I guess it will be a little bit better in terms of performance but like nothing massive.

"It can always be better. That's why they push for an even better engine concept. I'm happy that they did it because hopefully we can run that engine a little bit longer compared to the first one, which we can still use."

Asked about the comparison with Honda's main rivals Verstappen said that the Japanese manufacturer had closed the gap to Mercedes, but not Ferrari.

"It depends where you look at. Compared to Mercedes, yes, but compared to Ferrari it's big, but it's for everyone. It's really big. It just seems they did a really good job with something, so you just have to work harder to try to close that gap.

"I think we are closer to Mercedes, but it's always difficult to really say if it's better, because everybody is always improving. For our side at the moment is that we are able to maximise the result all the time, which has been a third and twice fourth, without retiring, so that is sometimes more important than maybe gaining a tenth but then breaking down all the time.

"I think in the race in general we are a bit more competitive so again, in qualifying it's mainly just Ferrari that stands out, like it's massive.

"Like I said before, they found something there that really works, so it's good because it gives motivation to Honda to work even harder, which they do anyway."

Verstappen's teammate Pierre Gasly is also supportive of Honda bringing in an upgrade before any of its rivals.

"I think we all have different development plans," said the Frenchman. "What we know is Honda is working really hard. I think we're all happy with the progress they are doing. We know we will get some more upgrades through the season.

"I think the team strategy the best thing to do is to change the engine now and we'll get another upgrade later in the season, but probably a different plan to the other teams."

shares
comments
Albon changes Friday approach to help track learning

Previous article

Albon changes Friday approach to help track learning

Next article

Fuoco set for Ferrari F1 test run in Barcelona

Fuoco set for Ferrari F1 test run in Barcelona
Load comments
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Prime

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't Prime

How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says Oleg Karpov, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Prime

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says Mark Gallagher, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors.

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021
The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat Prime

The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap-one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt Prime

The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming.

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021
British Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

British Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 British Grand Prix will live long in the memory for the dramatic clash between Formula 1's two title protagonists, which opened the door for other drivers to capitalise. One did so in spectacular fashion, while others fluffed their lines

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after Silverstone clash Prime

How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after Silverstone clash

A poor start for Valtteri Bottas and the lap one clash between Formula 1's 2021 title protagonists gave Charles Leclerc a surprise lead in the British Grand Prix that he almost held to the end. Here's how the Ferrari driver came close to a famous victory, ultimately denied by a recovering Lewis Hamilton three laps from home

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
The signs that suggest Mercedes can win at Silverstone Prime

The signs that suggest Mercedes can win at Silverstone

Red Bull and Max Verstappen scored an early blow against Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes at Silverstone, with sprint qualifying race victory. But that doesn’t mean Sunday’s grand prix is a foregone conclusion. Although Verstappen starts as the favourite, here’s why Mercedes still holds hope of winning

Formula 1
Jul 18, 2021