Verstappen says Red Bull didn’t want Alonso
"Alonso was not an option for 2019"
Max Verstappen says Red Bull never considered signing up Fernando Alonso for 2019.
That is despite the fact that, recently, retiring Spaniard Alonso and Red Bull chiefs were locked in a dispute over whether the energy drink company wanted him to fill a cockpit.
"I had (an offer) in 2007, in 2009, in 2011, in 2013, and two this year, one in Monaco, and one in August," Alonso said.
But Dutchman Verstappen, who drives for Red Bull Racing, disagrees.
"Alonso was not an option for 2019. It’s something I know," he is quoted by AS newspaper as saying at a sponsor event in his home country.
Instead, Red Bull has chosen from its own talent pool to replace the Renault-bound Daniel Ricciardo.
"I think I can get along very well with Pierre (Gasly) and I think they have also evaluated that, so I am satisfied knowing that they have chosen him," Verstappen said.
The 20-year-old, who is a regular critic of Red Bull’s current Renault power, said he is hopeful the team can take a step forward with Honda engines next year.
"We have the best car on the grid, as we saw in Singapore," said Verstappen.
"We hope that next year with the arrival of Honda, and its budget that is much higher than that of our current engine supplier, we will continue in the right direction," he added.
"We have the right people, it’s just the full package has not been ideal. It will be difficult to get it next year, but I hope we have an opportunity in 2020.
"As a team we already have the winning mentality, and now we will also have it on the engine side as well," said Verstappen.