Max Verstappen claims he never intended to put Red Bull Formula 1 engine suppler Renault down with his criticism through 2018, but was only eager for progress to be made and more performance to be found by the French manufacturer.

Verstappen was vocal in his criticism of Renault’s power unit throughout the 2018 season as Red Bull struggled to match rivals Mercedes and Ferrari for outright power.

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Reliability issues also sidelined Verstappen and teammate Daniel Ricciardo on a number of occasions, leaving Red Bull a distant third in the constructors’ championship at the end of the year.

Red Bull will switch to Honda engines for 2019 after deciding to end its 11-year run with Renault.

Verstappen said he never looked to push Renault down with his comments across the course of the year, but felt he could not hold his tongue over recurring issues.

“It was never my intention to put them down, but I want to make it better. We now have a deal with Honda, but if we had continued with Renault next year, I would want us to make progress,” Verstappen told Ziggo Sport.

"I am just very clear in what I say. I can also say that they can take it easy, but I am not like that. It can and must be better, and I just always want full commitment.

“However, you have to be open to criticism, that is how I grew up. I'm sorry if you can’t deal with that, but I'm not here to join in with the Olympic idea.

“I want to win, and for that, all parties have to be committed."

Red Bull will be Honda’s main works team through the 2019 season, but Verstappen is still not thinking about a potential title challenge yet, believing there will still be ground to make up on the engine side at the start of the year.

“I do not expect that we can really fight for the championship at the start of the season,” Verstappen said.

“But if we are just a little bit better than this year, we can be closer to the competition and run a consistent season, that is already an improvement for the championship.

“You do not necessarily need to have the best car."

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