Verstappen warns: “It would be stupid to try different things now”

max verstappen (Netherlands, 25 years old) connects from New York via ‘Zoom’ with a small group of European journalists after the presentation of the Red Bull RB19. The obvious escapes you: “There are some different things with last year’s car. Of course not today (because of the presentation), this is just the decoration. But our philosophy worked quite well last year so it would be stupid to suddenly try different things. But we always want to do better. It won’t be completely different but I do expect more benefits”.

The two-time champion hopes that your new single-seater is up to the predecessor, which led him to set the record of 15 victories in the same season: “I have only driven in the simulator, seems fast but until you take it to the track it is not the same. In a few days heor we will try to see that everything is ready before the tests. We only have three days of testing and everything has to work very well from the start. Although last year we had some incredible tests and in the first races there were problems (dropped out in Bahrain and Australia). You always have to try to understand what is happening in the car.”

Downplays reducing hours in the wind tunnel: “With our people, they will do an amazing job. The important thing is that when we take the car to the tarmac, it is competitive”. And also welcome the announcement of Ford as a partner in the manufacture of the engines for 2026: “Ford has a lot of history in the sport and it is a motivation, we will work together from 2026. They love racing and that’s something very important.”

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AS asked him about the address changes in Ferrari, his main rival last year. “It’s hard to say, I don’t really know how they are improving the car but time will tell. They are an incredible team with very good people working. Above all there has been a change (Fréd Vasseur, new ‘main team’ to replace Mattia Binotto) but in the end they had already set the course in any case. They want to work in two (areas), they want to improve the car and the engine department. I hope they continue to be a strong rival”.

In the curiosities chapter, Verstappen himself denied that he is going to set up a racing simulator in his private plane, as Helmut Marko had slipped. “It was a misunderstanding. I will not have it on the plane, I was referring to the ‘motorhome’. Maybe I can put in about three hours of the simulator during the grand prix. I think that It doesn’t fit on the plane,” he said with a laugh.

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