Verstappen would 'print out' proof Red Bull gains not down to engine

Max Verstappen wants to "print out" proof that Red Bull's straight-line speed gains are down to its rear wing set-up to stop questions about his Formula 1 engine.

Verstappen would 'print out' proof Red Bull gains not down to engine

Verstappen opened up a 12-point lead over Lewis Hamilton at the top of the F1 drivers' championship with victory in France last weekend, passing for the win with two laps to go.

Hamilton made regular reference to Red Bull's straight-line speed performance at Paul Ricard, saying that Mercedes could not compete.

The performance by Red Bull in France came after the introduction of a new power unit from Honda, moving onto the second engine of the year. But performance upgrades are banned on power units this year, with only changes made for reliability reasons being permitted between different specifications.

Christian Horner said after France that he was "baffled" by Mercedes F1 chief Toto Wolff's comments about Red Bull's power unit performance, noting the "much smaller rear wing" the team had been running to help its straight-line performance. 

Wolff clarified in Styria that he was not referring to the engine, but Horner took a dig at Hamilton's theories. 

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Speaking in the press conference after his run to pole for the Styrian Grand Prix on Saturday, Verstappen hit back at a question over the Honda's engine performance at altitude, highlighting Red Bull's low-downforce rear wing.

"I think next time, I am going to bring a print-out of the rear wing difference we're running, and then I'm going to hand it over to every single journalist," Verstappen said.

"Because I get these questions [for] two or three weeks now, that we are really quick in the straight, and yes we are. But look at our rear wing. I don't think it's exactly the same.

"For sure, Honda did a great job compared to last year. But from our first engine to the engine we have in the car now, it's all about reliability improvements, and no clear advantage on pure power.

"So I'm going to fire up my printer next time, and I'm going to hand over a few shots."

Verstappen was able to beat Mercedes to pole by two tenths of a second at the Red Bull Ring on Saturday, with the track being a power-sensitive layout thanks to its three long straights.

Hamilton again made reference to the straight-line speed of the Red Bull RB16B after qualifying.

"They've had straight-line speed again here this weekend, which is hard for us to compete with," Hamilton said.

"But I'm really proud of the team for just continuing to push hard and not leaving any stone unturned."

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