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Verstappen: Non-works team status puts Red Bull 'two races behind'

Written by  Aug 07, 2018

Max Verstappen believes that because Renault prioritises their works team over Red Bull for delivering engine upgrades, that leaves his team "two races behind" their rivals.

The Milton Keynes outfit was previously the main technical partner for the French manufacturer, however, that changed in 2016 when the company bought the remains of the old Lotus team to return as a full operation.

Since then, a worsening relationship with Red Bull has resulted in a split at the end of 2018 with the Anglo-Austrian outfit switching to Honda from next year in a partnership that will see them become a defacto works team once again.

In the meantime, Verstappen simply sees his squad at a disadvantage with Renault.

“If there are new parts, they will, of course, go to the factory team first, which is also logical but it’s a pity for us,” he was quoted by PlanetF1.

“You just know that at Ferrari and Mercedes these are immediately introduced and then they might have advantage of that for one or two races, before the rest takes a step.

“So, we are always two races behind.”

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Tensions between Red Bull and Renault only heightened following the Hungarian Grand Prix when another engine-related retirement resulted in team boss Christian Horner blasting a sub-standard product, with his counterpart at Enstone, Cyril Abiteboul, hitting back.

For Verstappen now, it is simply about seeing out this season while trying to remain as competitive as possible.

“Now that it’s certain that you are making the switch to Honda, that will not work in your favour, let’s put it like that," he claimed. “But that’s how these things work, and we know that, so you just need to accept it.

“I hope we will continue to develop the car well," he added. “The engine is a difficult story.

“We are better than them [Mercedes and Ferrari] in terms of the car, so car-wise they are the ones who need to catch up.”

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