The first chance of seeing the update from Honda engineers in order to help Max Verstappen his second win of the season, has been lost: the Japanese manufacturer opted for Alexander Albon getting the last spec of the Power Unit.
The Dutch right from the first onboards was clearly missing the normal sound: the engine started rattling right when ‘Mad Max’ wanted more power for the last sector of the Ardennes track:
“The whole weekend, we couldn’t use our normal power modes so all the time I wanted to go up on power, like we normally do every weekend, and the engine went into an error,” said the Dutchman.
“So I had to run quite conservative in qualifying so even compared to our normal power, we were down. It cost us a couple of tenths, which is of course not what you want around Spa, but yeah, that’s how it is.
“We know what it [the problem] is, I need to do two changes on the steering wheel to get it back to normal.”
From the other side of the garage, news wasn’t better as Thai Albon gave up before Q2 was ended as there wasn’t room for improvement: probably technicians didn’t allowed him to use the full power of the new evolution of PU.
Concerning race pace, the driver is worried about getting to the Mercedes backs rather than pretend to be on the podium, fighting for win:
“It looked fine. Of course tomorrow is going to be a different day in terms of temperatures, so it’s a little bit difficult to predict how we are going to perform.
“I expect we can be close to the Mercedes cars and I expect the Ferrari cars to be ahead, because with their top speed, even if you would be faster than them, you wouldn’t get them on the straights. They are a bit difficult to beat.”