Verstappen talks title and Hamilton

Date published: February 21 2018

Max Verstappen has heaped praise on Lewis Hamilton, but said he would prefer to have a “real challenge” for the World Championship rather than “win it easy” like Mercedes do.

The Dutchman has been speaking to Mobil 1 The Grid as he reflected on another race-winning campaign in 2017 before turning his attention toward the new season.

Verstappen was very complimentary of Hamilton, who he hopes to rival for the title in 2018, but revealed he would get “more satisfaction” from winning the trophy after a season-long battle.

“Lewis is very talented,” said Verstappen.

“Some people need to work up to their team-mates but he doesn’t really need that. He has been one of the most consistent front-runners.

“To have a real challenge [for the title], instead of winning easy like Mercedes have been doing for a few years, that would give me more satisfaction.

“But still, like in Mexico, I also really like to dominate races.”

Catch the full interview here:

Verstappen not looking forward to ‘ugly’ Halo

Date published: February 16 2018

Max Verstappen admits he is not looking forward to racing the “very ugly” Halo in this year’s championship.

Earlier this week the Formula 1 began launching their 2018 cars with Haas and Williams’ the first two to reveal their Halo concepts.

It hasn’t impressed Verstappen, who next Monday will take the covers off Red Bull’s new RB14.

“The Halo – that will be very ugly,” he said. “I am not looking forward to that.”

Halo aside, though, Verstappen is hoping that his new challenger will be fast out of the blocks.

“In general I hope the car will look great and hopefully it is fast,” he continued.

“Hopefully it is a good step forward and we have got straight away a good car for the beginning of the year, so we are not really chasing, like we did last year.

“That is the most important for us.”

Halo has not only changed the car’s aesthetics but also the weight resulting in the FIA increasing the overall minimum weight to 734kgs.

But getting to that minimum is a concern for the sport’s taller drivers such as Verstappen.

“Because the halo is quite heavy, it will be more than six kilos, it is definitely not favourable for me,” he explained.

“Being a taller driver and also a bit of a heavier driver than most, it is definitely not ideal.

“But I am not going to adjust my training for it, because otherwise I won’t feel well during the races.”

Could you be driven by Alonso or Verstappen?

Date published: February 15 2018

Formula 1 fans could be driven around the track by Fernando Alonso or Max Verstappen after McLaren and Aston Martin signed up to a new initiative.

The Formula 1 Pirelli Hot Laps programme will see fans, celebrities and guests be driven in a supercar ahead of 10 races in the 2018 season, starting with the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Pirelli will be setting up a unique garage to showcase the supercars and supply the tyres as Formula 1 drivers burn some extra rubber before Sunday’s races.

Aston Martin will be showing off the 4.0 litre twin-turbocharged, V8-powered Vantage while McLaren are set to unleash the 720S, which could also be driven by double World Champion and McLaren ambassador Mika Hakkinen.

Sean Bratches, Managing Director, Commercial Operations at Formula 1 said: “The Formula 1 Pirelli Hot Laps programme represents a new opportunity to allow Formula 1 fans to get closer to a real track experience.

“The once in a lifetime experience of being driven at speed by a racing driver at iconic race circuits in dream cars is truly unique. We are seeking to be fan first and this is yet another example of our efforts to that end. This also is a demonstration of our capabilities to provide more value to valued partners like Pirelli and the Formula 1 teams.”

Fans may remember Lewis Hamilton giving Usain Bolt the fright of his life back at the United States Grand Prix last season.

Verstappen reveals new lid for 2018 season

Date published: February 14 2018

Max Verstappen has unveiled his new-look helmet for the 2018 season as he tries to help Red Bull take the fight to Mercedes and Ferrari.

The Dutchman’s 2017 campaign was blighted by reliability issues, but still managed to build on his reputation with a couple of eye-catching victories to take his career tally to three.

Ahead of the RB14’s launch on Monday, Verstappen sat down to reveal one part of new kit to the fans, opting for a fresher look by removing some of the red in favour of dark blue and white, alongside a ‘V’ logo which can be seen on the side and the back of the helmet.

Verstappen: We’d be unbeatable with Merc power

Date published: February 12 2018

Max Verstappen believes Red Bull’s rivals “would never see us again” if his RB was powered by the Mercedes engine.

Last season Red Bull raced to three victories, two for Verstappen and one for Daniel Ricciardo, on their way to third in the championship.

It was the team’s fourth successive season without championship success with their fall from P1 coinciding with the introduction of the hybrid V6s in 2014.

And although Red Bull’s engine supplier Renault took steps forward in 2017, it wasn’t enough to challenge the Mercedes with Verstappen saying his team would be unbeatable if they ran the Brackley outfit’s engines.

“I think that if we had a Mercedes engine in the back, they would never see us again,” he told Motorsport.com.

He added: “Ours just isn’t that stable compared to what Mercedes and Ferrari have.

“But it has to do with several things. Otherwise they would have solved it a long time ago, of course.”

Ricciardo: Verstappen pressure made me overdrive

Date published: February 10 2018

Daniel Ricciardo has conceded that he “tried too hard” in some races as he felt the pressure from his team-mate Max Verstappen.

Both drivers were stung by their fair share of reliability issues throughout the 2017 season but, given Verstappen’s dominance in qualifying, it is a widely-held belief that the Dutchman would have beaten Ricciardo had they had a more reliable campaign with the Renault engine.

And the Aussie has now admitted that he overdrove the car in certain races to try and counter the threat.

“I would say it’s pushed me more than anything,” Ricciardo told Autosport.

“Sometimes, like in Budapest, there were a couple of races where I overdrove.

“I felt it was there and I tried to get too much out of it. But then that’s on me.

“I should know what the limit is and what I need to do to put the lap together.

“Sometimes I have tried a bit too hard.”

Verstappen, meanwhile, believes he has also had the beating of his team-mate, even if that is not reflected in the standings.

“So far I have always been able to beat my team-mate,” Verstappen also told Autosport.

“It may not show in the point standings, but in general I’ve always been ahead.”

Webber: Red Bull will support the lead driver

Date published: February 7 2018

Mark Webber has downplayed concerns of Red Bull favouritism towards Max Verstappen, adamant the team will support whichever driver has a better shot at winning the title.

Prior to Verstappen re-signing with the team last season, team boss Christian Horner came out saying he wants to build a team around the Dutchman.

Those comments were concerning for Ricciardo fans as the Aussie contemplates the possibility of leaving Red Bull at the end of this year.

Webber, though, is confident that politics won’t play a role in this year’s championship.

“Red Bull will support the guy that’s leading the championship and doing the business,” Webber told foxsports.com.au.

“If that’s Daniel, I reckon he’s still in great shape there, to be honest, because he is a Red Bull product.

“I don’t think Helmut [Marko] would be disappointed to see Daniel as World Champion.

“But he loves Max as well. They’re both his favourite guys.”