Torque holes hindered Max Verstappen, but didn’t cost win

Max Verstappen has revealed that he suffered from “torque holes on the throttle” during Formula 1’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, but that it didn’t cost him a shot at victory.

Verstappen started from the front row of the grid at the Yas Marina Circuit and worked his way back into second place after losing initial ground to Charles Leclerc.

Verstappen complained of problems relating to a throttle issue but nonetheless preserved second place, albeit finishing almost 17 seconds behind Lewis Hamilton.

“I just had some torque holes on the throttle,” said Verstappen.

“There were delays and stuff, so it was not great, and we couldn’t fix it, so we drove around the problem.

“At the end of the day, it wouldn’t have made a difference in terms of the result.”

Verstappen’s runner-up position in Abu Dhabi ensured he finished the year third in the championship, as the highest-placing non-Mercedes driver.

“[It was a] pretty good [season],” he said. “[A] few victories, poles, so that’s pretty good. I think we improved quite a bit throughout the season.

“Also, from Honda's side. Of course, very happy about that.

“Now we just need to keep that momentum into the winter break as well and try to improve the car even further, together with the engine and be there from the first race, not from the middle of the season or towards the end.

“But we know that, so we are working on it.”