Verstappen to be ’patient’ with Honda in 2019
"It was never my intention to put Renault down"
Max Verstappen has revealed that he is prepared to be patient with Honda in 2019.
Especially in 2018 as the collaboration looked to end, the Dutchman ramped up his harsh criticism of Red Bull’s outgoing engine partner Renault.
But Verstappen told Ziggo Sport that he never meant to "offend" the French marque.
"It was never my intention to put them down, but I want to make it better. Look, we now have a deal with Honda, but if we had continued with Renault next year, I would want us to make progress," he said.
"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. 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."
Verstappen has spent the last months building up expectations of something better from Red Bull’s new works pairing with Honda that begins in 2019.
But he said he is also prepared to be patient with the team’s new Japanese partner.
"Hopefully it will be a long-term collaboration. Sure, I do not expect a flawless year," said Verstappen.
"I don’t expect that everything runs smoothly at once, but you can’t expect that, I think. I will always be sharp but you have to believe in the project. We can not immediately be impatient with Honda," he insisted.
"After four years in which it did not work out, you are just done with it at some point. Then you sometimes have an explosion. But that is different with Honda.
"I do not expect that we can really fight for the championship at the start of the season, but if we are just a little bit better than this year, we can be closer to the competition, and then I can do a year like Lewis did — very consistent.
"That is a lot better for the championship. You do not necessarily have to have the best car," Verstappen added.
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