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Verstappen: It was never my intention to put Renault down

NEWS STORY
10/12/2018

Despite the trials and tribulations of McLaren's ill-fated three-year marriage to Honda, for the most part the Woking outfit maintained a dignified silence, doing its best to avoid outright criticism of its partner even when both had gone their separate ways.

On the other hand, despite the numerous titles won together, the partnership between Red Bull and Renault was always acrimonious, only good, according to the Austrian team, when it was winning, and even then it appeared that the French manufacturer was only acknowledged when things went pear-shaped.

It was obvious for some time that the partnership was doomed, the final straw clearly being Renault's decision to return to F1 as a constructor, and thereby a rival to Red Bull. In the years since, the criticism has been constant and bitter.

Speaking to Ziggo Sports Rob Kamphues, Max Verstappen, who along with Helmut Marko and Christian Horner led the verbal assaults on the French manufacturer, insists it was nothing personal.

"It was never my intention to put them down, but I want to make it better," he says. "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," he adds.

"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."

Looking ahead to the new partnership with Honda, he says: "Hopefully it will be a long-term collaboration. I don't expect that everything runs smoothly at once, but you can't expect that, I think. 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," he admits, "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."

In terms of sister team Toro Rosso's first season with Honda power, the jury is still out, though all concerned, including Red Bull insist it has been a great success.

And with Red Bull, and Verstappen, giving total commitment to the Japanese manufacturer, they will be under great scrutiny, not least from their French former partners.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Spindoctor, 13/12/2018 12:26

"I find him immensely irritating, arrogant and as is pointed-out elsewhere, lacking humility. The first two traits are tolerable, especially given his status as 'most hyped callow youth of the decade'. Humility, though, is essential if you are to be Champion. Humility isn't just (or maybe not at all) the somewhat cringe-making "I owe it all to..." which Lewis sprays about, but part of a winning mindset.

What Verstappen lacks, and Champions succeed at, is having the humility to accept that when they fail to win through equipment failure, strategy errors or pit-stop foul-ups they must take it on the chin, keep quiet, and support the team. This is People Management 101. They generate the loyalty in their teams & suppliers which will encourage them to work even harder for the driver's benefit.

We can't get away from the fact that unlike Lewis Max has had every opportunity in life handed to him on a silver platter: wealth, connections, and of course talent. Lewis probably has more of the latter, but had to work hard to compensate for lack of the former. Maybe a year or two in a REALLY rubbish car would reset Max's somewhat 'entitled' world-view. "

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2. Posted by ESTM PRFT, 11/12/2018 18:04

"If (on a personality basis) I have nothing nice to say, I'll say just that in reference to Yas Werestoppen Jr."

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3. Posted by mickl, 10/12/2018 23:22

"There's a big difference between talent and class."

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4. Posted by *TestaRossa*, 10/12/2018 21:08

"He should be banned because he never drinks ftom his shoe on the podium ."

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5. Posted by ClarkwasGod, 10/12/2018 19:48

"Honda should understand, next year, that if/when he comes out with the same sort of utterances ("this Honda PU is an absolute piece of ****" for example), he's not insulting Honda - he's motivating them...... and if they believe that.......

@ elf Tyrrell - I would just say that a twat has a use, whereas Verstappen........."

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6. Posted by klmn, 10/12/2018 14:44

"I hate the guy like @ elf Tyrrell does , because he is faster than our Dani and he is always complaining like Alonslow"

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7. Posted by Ro, 10/12/2018 13:13

"There is doubt that he is quick, but he lacks what Lewis Hamilton, or Ricciardo have. Its called "Humility". Its never his fault, always someone else's. As Lewis said to him in Brazil, "He had nothing to lose, you did". Max should just shut up and drive."

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8. Posted by F1nerd, 10/12/2018 11:27

"In my opinion he is just a spoilt little brat and stamps his feet (or opens his big mouth) when things dont go his way."

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9. Posted by Elf Team Tyrrell, 10/12/2018 9:33

"Well if he is happy to be open to criticism I will start by saying he is a complete twat.......anyone else have anything to add?"

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10. Posted by Jol66, 10/12/2018 9:26

"Biggest gum flapper of them all found an excuse when he wasn't on the podium mostly blamed the engine ever hear him bag Renault engine when he was on the podium?
"

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