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Verstappen expected DNFs after Red Bull's Honda switch

Verstappen expected DNFs after Red Bull's Honda switch

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Verstappen expected DNFs after Red Bull's Honda switch

Verstappen expected DNFs after Red Bull's Honda switch

Max Verstappen says he had expected 2019 to be affected by retirements as Red Bull got to grips with Honda, so credited the Japanese manufacturer for a lack of DNFs.

The Dutchman has only failed to see the chequered flag in one race this season, when he collided with Kimi Raikkonen at the first corner of the Japanese Grand Prix.

That is in stark contrast to previous seasons with Renault, which were beset by poor reliability. Indeed the French team and customer McLaren have suffered from technical issues yet again this year.

Honda had previously suffered with reliability woe with McLaren, which Verstappen admits he expected to resurface at Red Bull.

"I kind of expected to have a few technical DNFs," he told his official website.

"I don't mean that in a negative way, but in a first year with Honda, things can always go wrong. Luckily it's been good on the reliability front. Honda have done a great job with that.

"[It is] not really a relief. More a really good and nice feeling."

Verstappen has delivered Honda's first podium, pole position and race victories since returning to F1 this season, although the Dutchman has once again fallen short of a title challenge, something he wants to change in 2020 – his last chance to become F1's youngest world champion.

"I remain positive," he said." Of course, we expected a bit more but next year is a new opportunity. Everyone is working hard to start the next year well, so let's see.

"They are realistic. They are happy with the reliability but they want to improve."

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