Max Verstappen has revealed how Red Bull will plan to avoid the same fate that befell McLaren when they switch to using Honda power units in 2019. Honda returned to Formula 1 with McLaren in 2015, but a lack of power and reliability led to a messy divorce for 2018.
McLaren's dropping of Honda oddly mirrors Red bull's situation, as they plan to take on the Japanese engines next year, having dropped Renault – the manufacturer McLaren switched to.
McLaren's move has not paid off, with Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne fighting just to get out of Q1 in recent months, while Red Bull have fought with Mercedes and Ferrari with the same PU on board.
Verstappen pointed to the technical differences between Honda and McLaren as key to the failing relationship and says Red Bull are prepared to accommodate their suppliers more.
Asked how Red Bull would avoid a McLaren-style meltdown, Verstappen told his official website: "By telling Honda that they need to develop the best and fastest engine, but not as small and compact as possible.
"We indicate that we want as much power as possible and in return we will make it fit in the car. That is a very different approach than they had at McLaren.
"In the current situation [with Renault] you are always the second team, after the factory team.
"This, of course, is not the case with Honda. We are actually the only customer, since both are Red Bull teams.
"I think that is an advantage. If there is engine update, you receive it immediately and not a race later."