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2018 F1

McLaren split boost Honda progress – Verstappen

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Max Verstappen admits he is getting excited about 2019. Recently highly critical of Renault, the Dutchman finished second behind Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and ahead of championship leader Lewis Hamilton in Austin.

He says Red Bull’s chances for 2019 look good as the team switches its customer Renault engines for the new works Honda collaboration.

“I’m very excited about next year, because Honda is obviously very fast in qualifying now,” he is quoted by Speed Week.

“Of course we want to finish this year as well as possible, but the whole team is already looking forward to the next season. Everyone is really motivated.

“The data coming from the test stands is very promising,” Verstappen revealed.

He said Honda is making good progress now because it is getting full support from Red Bull, beginning with the Toro Rosso collaboration this year.

Verstappen says that is in stark contrast to the failed McLaren-Honda pairing of 2015-2017.

“They (Honda) have been able to do their own thing and build the engine to their liking. They no longer have to deal with the team they were dealing with,” he said.

“Also, some new people have come on board, the management is new, and the whole thing looks very good.

“Of course we’ll have to see how it develops, but it’s going in the right direction and I’m happy about that.”

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