Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Singapore, 2018

Second “feels like victory” after engine problems – Verstappen

2018 Singapore Grand Prix qualifying

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Max Verstappen says securing second on the grid for the Singapore Grand Prix feels “like a victory” following complaints about the performance of his Renault engine.

After multiple team radio messages throughout practice and qualifying suggested Verstappen had frustrations with the drivability of his Renault power unit, the Red Bull driver says qualifying second on the grid behind Lewis Hamilton was an “unbelievable” result.

“Honestly, this feels like a victory,” says Verstappen.

“The amount of problems I’ve had today, and even in qualifying, with the engine. Just not having a smooth run. Cutting in torque. To be second is unbelievable. It just shows that we have an amazing car.”

Despite being three tenths off Hamilton’s blistering pole position time, Verstappen isn’t playing down Red Bull’s chances of potentially challenging for the victory in tomorrow’s race.

“We just have to make sure that we get a clean start and from there onwards, anything is possible,” Verstappen says. “We do have to sort out the engine for tomorrow, but at least I’m very happy with the car.”

Verstappen suffered another loss of power during his final run in qualifying. His race engineer told him he’d been “one-and-a-half tenths up” at turn 16 before the loss of power.

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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  • 30 comments on “Second “feels like victory” after engine problems – Verstappen”

    1. That car looked weird – stuttering – when exiting the pit for the last run.

      1. It was actually doing that. Max said his head almost hit the steering wheel because of it.

        He also told on tv he had an issue when he short shifted up before corners even in his best run

    2. Amazing lap. Star of qualifying.

    3. If Verstappen doesn’t take out Hamilton at the start, then it should be a cracking race with Verstappen holding up Vettel. Verstappen can be very stubborn so i predict some payback for Last year. ;)

      1. Verstappen only take out Vettel.

        1. @Myself: not for lack of trying, check bahrain 2018; hamilton just got lucky it wasn’t him getting a puncture, else other than 3rd place that race.

      2. Ham is not gambling like vet does.
        Both have to look out for vet and his fast starting.
        Hams starts are not his Forte.

    4. Goodby Re-No! Hello Honda! ;)

    5. With AMuS reporting that the Honda will be a good 30 HP more powerful than the Renault come Sochi, and with the chassis clearly good, what odds Red Bull actually do better than expected next season? Verstappen could have a 2010/12 Alonso season, who knows.

      1. @hahostolze, the problem I have with that claim is that there have been claims for years that Honda were about to overtake Renault or that Honda were already ahead of Renault, and routinely heard claims of 20 or 30bhp upgrades that were meant to deliver such a boost. Strangely, though, for all the claims they were on course to overtake Renault, it doesn’t seem to have happened yet, whilst those power upgrades quite often never seem to be quite as potent as they are supposed to be.

        It also seems to run counter to what the Japanese press have been saying about Honda’s development focus this year, which seems to have focussed more on improving the efficiency of the engine and the energy recovery systems, along with improving the cooling system (particularly since they had a mid season update that did improve the cooling systems, but also made it several kilos heavier).

        Given that fuel consumption has been a bit of a weak point for Honda’s engines in recent years, I would be somewhat more inclined to take what the Japanese press is saying – that the focus has been on efficiency. Now, of course it is true that improvements in combustion efficiency would potentially have a benefit in power output, but it is likely that they have focussed more on the former and have achieved the latter as a consequence of that, rather than having it as the primary objective.

        1. Much of those problems lied with Mclaren as well.
          Rbr/str have a much healthier and better relation with Honda and that will make the difference.

          Rbr with this years Honda would still be where they are now.

    6. So it took a 4 time world champion, 78 pole position winner and an aditional 50 hp to keep a 21 year old from pole.

      1. 20 year old, Max his birthday is at 30th of september ;)

        1. Yeah..well and make that 60-65 hp short and 70-75 on Ferrari.

          P2 with a stuttering engine makes you wonder about ‘if’s and when’s ‘

          1. If Red Bull had Ferrari power he could reach the low 35’s, maybe.

            1. Yes, ferrari and mercedes really have good reason to refuse giving red bull their power units, I bet they’d be willing to pay a lot for that, if they did red bull could go back to the golden age performance.

    7. 79 now 80 (slip of the fingers)

    8. Also, RaceFans, give him his due, if this article were to be considered thorough or fair journalism you’d report the misfire on his Q3 lap that probably cost him pole, or the fact his engine was detuned after FP3. Even autosport do…

      1. Absolutely stunning lap it was.

        No wonder Hammy and Vettel vetoed him going to their teams.

    9. Max will be a nice buffer for Hamilton. If he doesn’t take Hamilton out that is. Should be a wild start.

      1. A buffer? Don’t you know who Verstappen is? The guy has nothing to lose and is a brilliant starter at the same time. IMHO he will overtake Hamilton in the first few laps and cruises to Victory

    10. Amazing lap, Max! That engine cut was a pity, but P2 is amazing, considering where the Red Bull is this season.

      Also, why does everyone still think Max’s default race setting is “take everybody out?” It’s proper irritating now.

      1. Much of those problems lied with Mclaren as well.
        Rbr/str have a much healthier and better relation with Honda and that will make the difference.

        Rbr with this years Honda would still be where they are now.

      2. Sorry, that reply was mend else where.
        But you are right, The internet seems to be filled with people thinking Max can only take out drivers or crash or what ever. How quickly they forget he has had the best starts since 2015.

        Funny thing is that Dan and Vettel have crashed more in the past 5 races, yet Max gets all the heat.

    11. “it just shows that we have an amazing car.”

      And an Amazing driver.

      Max just please dont crash tomorrow especially on the first lap. Vet-Ver so near each other is always scary. Want to see a thrilling 3 way fight for the win.

      1. or please dont crash in the first lap either… not just first corner…

      2. Max crashing someone out on the firsl lap happened only once in the past 4 seasons, Hamilton and Vettel are a way bigger threath for the first lap (Monza is only two weeks ago and people have forgotten already)

    12. Hey Marko and Horner:
      That Renault engine is looking pretty stout wouldn’t you say?
      Honda not so much….

      1. What? This is one of the tracks where the engine matters the least, YET verstappen can’t beat hamilton and ricciardo was way back from verstappen, this is absolutely the opposite, the renault engine is terrible and in fact the honda choice at least is a gamble worth taking.

        If you can go from 5 to 10 with a gamble and if it fails you go down to 4, it’s worth it!

    13. Though I’m beginning to like this arrogant talent, I hope he doesn’t act like an entitled jackass and take out ham or vettel.. we want the title battle to close up. If you want to, take out both lol

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