Max looks back at Australia: 'Super nice for Honda'

Published on 18 March 2019 by Mike Motilall

Max Verstappen topped up the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday with a podium finish. By means of a Skype-chat in Ziggo Sport’s Peptalk, the Dutchman looks back at a strong performance in Melbourne and also looks ahead at the coming race.

On Monday he was already back from Australia. He is asked whether he sleeps in the plane on the way back or if the race keeps lingering in his head: “I try to sleep as much as I can during the flight”, says Max, who adds that there is still not much to do in the plane.

On the question whether he was intrigued by Mercedes’ performance and especially Valtteri Bottas’, Max answers: “This goes to show that you cannot deduce anything from testing. Everyone thought that Ferrari would be very strong. I even think that Ferrari themselves were a bit surprised that they were not so fast after all, but on the other hand, Melbourne is a quite strange circuit.”

You have driven both behind the Ferrari and the Mercedes. Ferrari was no issue, but where was the Mercedes even better than the Red Bull? Max: “I have to say that the medium corners were not very optimal for us, I am talking about the fourth- and fifth gear corners, they could have been a bit better.”

This season you also have the ‘party-mode button’ at your disposal, don’t you have the urge to keep pressing that thing the whole time? Max: “No, because then you know that the engine won’t last.” The overtake on Ferrari-running Sebastian Vettel is also mentioned: “We had the ‘party-mode’ on and then you see that, regarding the top speed, everything is alright. For Honda it was also super nice to be able to overtake a Ferrari on track.”

Finally, Max briefly looks ahead at the coming race in Bahrain: “We still need to wait and see, of course it’s a completely new car and we could perform well on that circuit. Normally speaking, our car doesn’t have any issues running there.”