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F1 – Verstappen: "They called us crazy for working with Honda"

The story of Honda ‘s return to Formula 1 was bumpy until at the end of last season they achieved their goal of winning the world title with Max Verstappen and Red Bull. However, his time with McLaren led the Japanese to create a bad reputation in the paddock that they have been able to change over time.

For three full courses, from 2015 to 2017 , Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button and Stoffel Vandoorne saw their single-seaters get stuck in the middle of races without ever crossing the finish line, a total of 36 retirements in 60 grand prix [although not all of them were by the Japanese power unit].

However, with the change first to Toro Rosso and then to Red Bull, they climbed the podiums until they returned to winning ways with the Dutchman in Austria in 2019. From there, a whole path of triumphs until they were the rivals to beat in the highest category of motorsport, despite the fact that those from Milton Keynes compete under their own label with Japanese mechanics in 2022.

With the Honda engine [or Red Bull Powertrains in its absence], they have achieved 29 wins in Formula 1, in addition to two drivers’ titles with Max Verstappen, and for that, the Dutchman wanted to express his gratitude: “It’s great, not not just because we use those engines, but because we’ve been working with them for many years.”

“I am happy to see where we have come together,” said the Dutchman. “At the time, most people said we were crazy when we started working with Honda, but you can already see how important it is to never give up and keep pushing.”

Verstappen has broken many records in Formula 1, and he believes that the 2022 season could not have gone better: “Of course, we were very competitive last year, but this year we are even better.”

“So I’m very proud of the whole team and everyone at Honda,” he said. “The work is sometimes very difficult when you are criticized because there is a lot of pressure around you, people demand a lot and you have to perform well, but I think [Honda] kept calm and knew what to do, look where we are.

Although they have already secured the drivers’ championship with the Dutchman, Red Bull wants to clinch the constructors’ crown for the first time since 2013, when they did it with Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber and the Renault engine: “That’s our next goal “.

“I will give everything I have to make sure we win that too,” said the second-youngest two-time champion in the history of motorsport’s top flight.

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