Verstappen jealous? Red Bull star talks up Renault power mode after McLaren gains
Max Verstappen pointed to McLaren's "power mode" from their Renault engine as a difference maker after Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz pushed him hard in qualifying for the French Grand Prix. Verstappen qualified marginally ahead of the Red Bull pair at Paul Ricard.
Red Bull have taken Honda power units in 2019, tying up with the Japanese manufacturer a year after McLaren dumped them for Renault – Red Bull's old supplier.
It has made comparisons between the teams intriguing, and McLaren certainly appear to have closed the gap in Le Castellet, with Norris and Sainz regularly outpacing Pierre Gasly and giving Verstappen food for thought as he has struggled to keep pace with Ferrari, themselves adrift of the almighty Mercedes.
Though Verstappen expects to maintain an advantage in the race, he suggested McLaren – and Renault – may begin to make moves in qualifying, perhaps also sending a message to Honda to up the one-lap pace.
"We are normally better in the race," Verstappen said of McLaren's surge. "They have a power mode in qualifying, quite a strong one, so I should be alright."
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