Verstappen frustrated by engine speculation


A clearly frustrated Max Verstappen offers to "print out" data relating to the Red Bull's rear wing in order to end speculation over its engine.

With the technical directives relating to the bendy wing and tyre pressures failing to slow the Red Bull steamroller, over the last couple of weeks attention has turned to the engine.

Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff have both almost thrown away comments questioning whether the new engines fitted to the Honda-powered cars in France were a new spec, which is not allowed. While the regulations allow for changes for reasons of reliability, changes to improve performance are banned.

Speaking after qualifying, when asked about the Honda engine's "advantage" at certain circuits, particularly at high altitude tracks, Verstappen was clearly annoyed, keen to point out that the straight-line speed in France and Austria of the RBR16B is all about the rear wing.

"We've always been quite good with altitude," he replied, "but I think next time I'm going to bring a print-out of the rear wing difference we're running and then I'm going to hand it over to every single journalist so everyone...

"I get these questions now, two questions, like two or three weeks now," he continued, "that we are really quick on the straight. Yes, we are, but look at our rear wing, I don't think it's exactly the same.

"For sure, Honda did a great job compared to last year, from our first engine to the engine we have in the car now. It's all about reliability, improvements and no clear advantage on pure power so I'm going to fire up my printer next time and I'm going to hand over a few shots."

Reacting to Hamilton and Wolff's comments in France, Christian Horner admitted to being baffled by their questioning the engine, making clear that at Paul Ricard his team had merely run a smaller rear wing.

Despite having raised the subject in the first place, Wolff expressed surprise at his rival's reaction, all but uttering the phrase, 'they doth protest too much'.

"I'm really surprised that the Red Bull guys keep protesting so loudly on the power unit story," said the Mercedes boss. "That is a bit weird.

"The rules are very clear," he continued. "It's homologated, you can come up with reliability fixes, and that's it. Obviously there are certain things you can clean up, but you have your tokens and you need to use them, and that's it.

"So there shouldn't be any power advantage as such."

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Published: 27/06/2021
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