Verstappen: New Honda engine ‘a good step forward’

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen hailed the improvements achieved by Honda, labeling the manufacturer’s latest Spec 4 engine “a good step forward” after Friday’s opening day of running at Monza.

Verstappen was the recipient of the new unit in Italy along with Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat, while Alex Albon and Pierre Gasly were given the engine last week in Belgium.

The Dutchman clocked in fifth fastest in Friday’s FP2 session, 0.372s behind pacesetter Charles Leclerc, but gave a thumbs up to Honda’s upgrade.

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“It was a good day,” said Verstappen. “Of course, the conditions were a bit tricky out there, but the car was working really well and we seem quite competitive on a track that doesn’t normally suit us.

“Around Monza, the real lap time is hard to see because of the tow but my fastest lap was done on my own and it felt good.

“I definitely think this new engine is a good step forward and you can feel the extra power which is positive.”