Max Verstappen’s engine has ‘problems to be fixed’ in worrying update before 2022 campaign

Max Verstappen’s engine has ‘problems to be fixed’ in worrying update before 2022 campaign

Max Verstappen’s engine has “problems to be fixed” as he prepares to defend his F1 title. The Red Bull driver landed his maiden championship last season after seeing off Lewis Hamilton at the final Grand Prix of the season in Abu Dhabi.

The Honda power unit Red Bull are set to use this season is almost ready, with the Japanese company continuing to manufacture them on behalf of the team’s Red Bull Powertrains arm.

But the head of Honda’s R&D at their Sakura headquarters, Yasuaki Asaki, says there is still work to be done.

“There are always details and problems to be fixed,” he told Motorsport.com. “But the concept, the basic part, had to be done last year to be ready for the season.

“The most important thing is to deal with is the E10 fuel. I think that’s all there is to it.

“The engine framework has already been renewed, so we have made changes to get the best performance out of the E10 fuel.

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“That’s a secret,” Asaki said. “Other companies seem to be saying that it will be about the same as last year.

“But I think the fact that they are making such an announcement means that they are having a hard time producing the same level of power as last year.”

The new F1 season is set to get underway in late March, with Verstappen looking to get the better of Hamilton for a second consecutive season.

The Mercedes driver hasn’t spoken publicly since his post-race interview in Abu Dhabi after the season ended in controversial fashion.

Hamilton had led for most of the race and appeared to be cruising to the title before a safety car was deployed following a crash by Williams’ Nicholas Latifi.

Verstappen took the opportunity to visit the pits to get fresh tyres during the delay, with Hamilton staying out to keep his track position.

Five drivers were subsequently given permission to overtake and move out of the way of the title rivals.

And Verstappen was then allowed to pull level with Hamilton for a one-lap shootout to decide the winner.

The Dutchman took full advantage of his new tyres and stormed to victory as he denied Hamilton a record eighth championship.

Published at Fri, 28 Jan 2022 10:59:00 +0000