Just two days after the incident-packed Azerbaijan Grand Prix and collision with his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen popped up in Budapest to conquer the streets of the marvelous Hungarian capital. F1Technical.net’s Balázs Szabó attended the unique Great Race event of Hungary.
Budapest played host to the beloved event called Great Race for the sixth time today. This event has become a tradition in the Hungarian capital, allowing fans as close to the race cars, motorbikes, trucks and drivers as could never come true in a closed circuit.
The organizers change the layout of the street track from year to year. The most spectacular track configuration was created on the banks of the River Danube with the iconic buildings of Budapest such as the House of Parliament as a background. For last year, the event moved back to the city centre of the Pest side of Budapest. Despite being an important traffic junction, the Deák Ferenc Square gave place to the paddock area.
The teams participating had only one night to install their garages in the paddock before it opened its gates to the spectators on Monday. On Tuesday, the cars, including fascinating oldtimer cars, the 2012 world champion car of the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing teams, WTCR machines, the racing cars of the Audi and BMW teams, rally and Dakar cars rolled onto the temporary track. The unique nature of the event lies in the fact that there is hardly any other city in the world which could managed to come to a halt year after year to give place to such a monumental motorsport event, involving some of the greatest cars of the past and the present.
Max Verstappen completed two demo runs on the beautiful Budapest downtown and then answered a pile of questions. The Dutchman could not escape questions regarding the collision with his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo during last weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
“Of course the team was not happy. Daniel and myself, we both weren’t happy. Quickly afterwards, we spoke again, and we realized it was not good. We are very much looking forward to the next race. We will get a lot of updates. It was not good because we are team-mates.”
Asked if Red Bull driver consultant dr Helmuth Marko was angry with the intrateam clash, Max said: “Yes, of course. But I think it would have been wrong if he hadn’t been (angry).”
When asked about his life outside race weekends, Verstappen replied: “Normally the Monday is the rest day. From Tuesday onwards it is busy, we are preparing for the next Grand Prix. I am in Budapest, but tonight I go back to England, tomorrow I will be at the factory, Thursday is the simulator day.”
“I think like everyone. You do normal stuffs. I enjoy being on the water, doing jet ski for example. (I am with my friends) almost every weekend, we try to meet up. They also come to my place.“
Formula One recently announced its latest push for more on-track overtakings. Verstappen thinks track layouts play a huge role, but the car’s front wing and floor are also critical in terms of overtaking opportunities.
“A lot depends on the track we go to. In Baku, we could overtake. We need to do some changes to make the overtaking a little bit easier. I think a lot depends on the front wing and on the floor.”
The Hasselt-born driver sounded confident when he was asked about Red Bull’s chances and development capacity during the remainder of the season.
“We’ll bring lots of upgrades to the car. So my feeling is really positive. Hopefully we will bring more updates than the other teams, I think it is looking good,” concluded the three-time GP winner.