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Max Verstappen unconcerned about Red Bull-Honda reliability

Sky Sports | Updated: 2018-12-15 20:01:00

Max Verstappen says he does not mind if his Honda engine "blows up" next season, as long as he is given more opportunities to win races.

Red Bull are ending their Renault partnership to switch to Honda and Verstappen is itching to start F1 2019 already, telling Sky F1 it's clear the team's new engine partners already have more horsepower.

There are, however, still concerns about the reliability of the Honda PU - Toro Rosso picked up more grid penalties than any other team in 2018, while Pierre Gasly suffered a failure at the season-ending Abu Dhabi GP.

But Verstappen insists he is not worried.

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"I think this year has already been pretty good," he told Sky F1's Simon Lazenby and Nico Rosberg. "They have taken a lot of engines just because they could, because they were at the back or something happened.

"I prefer, maybe, to win a race and then blow up in one than be consistently slow."

Verstappen won two races in F1 2018, finishing the season with five consecutive podiums.

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Optimism is mounting for the Red Bull-Honda partnership with the former world champions convinced they can join Mercedes and Ferrari in the battle for F1's titles with more engine power.

"The RB14 is one of the best chassis we've ever made," said Red Bull boss Christian Horner in Abu Dhabi.

Will they get that power from a Honda team who struggled over three years with McLaren?

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"It all looks very promising but I want to be realistic," said Verstappen. "First, we still need to build a car, and then the engine should be reliable as well, and powerful."

Verstappen also revealed Red Bull's technical guru Adrian Newey - the designer behind a record 10 Constructors' Championship-winning cars - is "very involved" in the team's chassis for next season.

"It's a very good thing," Verstappen added.

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