Verstappen: Honda target to not take any grid penalties in 2020

24-02-2020 18:13
by Nicolás Quarles van Ufford
Verstappen: Honda target to not take any grid penalties in 2020

Aston Martin Red Bull Racing star Max Verstappen has said his team's engine partner Honda are targeting to not take any grid penalties in the upcoming season, with the limit on power units being three a season per car.

Verstappen took two grid penalties because of power unit changes in 2019 at the Italian and Russian Grand Prix. Although the penalties weren't a product of wear-and-tear but rather to introduce upgraded power units, it cost the Dutchman and his Red Bull and Toro Rosso colleagues alike as Honda continued to catch up to the rest of the engine manufacturers.

Now the Japanese carmaker has done so (mostly), grid penalties should no longer be an issue for Honda and Red Bull barring any big incidents as Verstappen looks to add to his tally of eight Grand Prix wins.

“Last year we only took engines because they had performance upgrades, and quite big ones,” the 22-year-old was quoted by regarding Honda.

“So that was the reason for us to take these engines. This year we know, or we try, not to take any penalties but so far the engine is running very, very smoothly and it’s all looking good."

Verstappen, who knows both Red Bull and Honda "just have to work harder" than the competition if they want to challenge for titles, added he's not thinking about the competition just yet as that is completely out of his hands.

“I’m not confident nor worried at the moment because I’m not too bothered about it yet. I just want to focus on our package, that’s the only thing you can control. We’ll find out in Melbourne where we are but there’s still a lot of things for us to work on because it’s never perfect, and I think it will never be perfect anyway.”

If he wants to become the youngest world champion of all time, a record currently held by Sebastian Vettel when he won the 2010 title at 23 years old, Verstappen will have to do so this year - it's his last opportunity.

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