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Verstappen: Honda upgrade wasn't enough

Verstappen: Honda upgrade wasn't enough

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Verstappen: Honda upgrade wasn't enough

Verstappen: Honda upgrade wasn't enough

Max Verstappen says Honda's upgraded power unit is still not enough to compete with Renault in terms of top-level power, leaving Red Bull short in their attempts to compete with Mercedes and Ferrari. Verstappen took the new engine in France, but struggled to keep pace with the top three in the race.

Having qualified fourth, Verstappen finished in the same place, although he rarely troubled Charles Leclerc for the final podium spot, outside of a nice battle between the young stars on the opening lap.

Red Bull have often talked up Honda as they embark on a new partnership with the Japanese marque, Dr Helmut Marko regularly claimed that the 2019 Honda engine was more powerful than last year's Renault, which Red Bull used.

However, it appears that Renault have made good strides this year, with McLaren currently the chief beneficiaries as they have stolen a march on the midfield battle, and pushed Verstappen all the way at Paul Ricard.

"You could see in lap one I think we are missing some top speed to the top guys," the Dutchman said. "The McLarens behind are very quick on the straight.

"The car balance is not too bad. We do need to gain a bit of performance from the car to be really competitive. We do need to make a bigger step also with the engine.

"You could see the Renault over one lap they have a quite powerful 'quali mode' or whatever they use in lap one.

"Afterwards they have to back it out, of course, and then you can see they are not a threat any more. But over one lap we can definitely improve a bit more."

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