Max Verstappen is hoping the straight-line speed deficit of Renault’s Formula 1 engine will not prevent Red Bull from challenging for victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix. 

While Red Bull has enjoyed a stronger start to the 2018 season having taken three victories from the opening 11 rounds, it has continued to lag behind rivals Mercedes and Ferrari due to the performance of its Renault engine, ultimately leading the team to favour a switch to Honda power from next year. 

Team principal Christian Horner claimed his drivers were losing up to 0.7s on Paul Ricard’s straights, before admitting the Milton Keynes-based squad was left “hugely exposed” at Silverstone

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Red Bull has been tipped for a strong result in Budapest this weekend due to the tight and twisty nature of the Hungaroring, though Verstappen fears Red Bull could lose out despite the circuit not being considered a power-sensitive track. 

“I think our car is good enough to do it [win], I just hope we don’t lose too much with the straight-line speed,” Verstappen said. 

“We will just have to wait and see over the weekend how that is going to progress. We just have to focus on getting a good setup on the car.

“For everyone there is more focus on qualifying because after qualifying you focus on a good start and normally that’s your race. You just have to keep it on track.”

Teammate Daniel Ricciardo believes it is too close to call which team heads into the weekend as favourites. 

"It should be close. I’m not sure who is going to be the favourite this weekend. I really think all three are going to be really close. 

"I’m going to predict, after me, the rest of the field will be within one tenth, the other five!” he added. “I hope it’s close, for all six cars.”

When asked if he felt the Hungaroring is Red Bull’s second-best track this year, Ricciardo replied: “Monaco is probably the best, then you’d argue Singapore maybe second. But it’s close. 

“I remember last year we were quick here on Friday then we dropped a bit of pace on Saturday, but I think we are better off this year than we were last year. This and Singapore would come up second.”

 

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