Max Verstappen says changes to procedures and how Red Bull set-up its RB13 has transformed its performance which enabled him to secure a first race win of the year last time out in Malaysia.

The 20-year-old claimed his second F1 career win in Malaysia having been thrilled with the balance of his car which gave him the confidence and pace to attack pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton before stretching clear for victory.

Verstappen says Red Bull’s early efforts with the 2017-specification car made it hard to predict how set-up changes would make an impact but credits the team and a more hands-on role by chief designer Adrian Newey for transforming the car into a race-winner having finished half a minute off the leaders in the season opener in Australia.

“It’s a completely different car for my feelings in terms of balance,” Verstappen said. “It’s a lot more complete and the first few races the car was really unpredictable.

“We used to change something in the car and it was doing something completely different to what engineers were thinking or Newey was thinking and it was just really, really difficult to set-up.

“Now it’s more aligned with what they predict but also that’s very positive, and you can see that I mean we were really far behind. In some races we were a minute behind so to be able to come from that to where we are now is of course very impressive.”

Verstappen is delighted to see Newey return to a more full-time capacity helping develop the team’s F1 challenger and feels key discussions between the designer and the drivers are starting to show rewards.

“After a weekend if Adrian asks questions then you talk to him about it and when I see him in the factory we talk of what you think of the car, where we can improve and stuff,” he said.

 

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