Verstappen’s former engineer reveals reason behind his exit

Verstappen's former engineer reveals reason behind his exit

Blake Hinsey, the ex-performance engineer who worked with Max Verstappen, revealed that he quit his position as a result of the role’s travel requirements.

Hinsey “quit traveling” at the conclusion of Verstappen’s first full season with Red Bull after joining the team in the early going of the 2016 campaign.

There were 20 races on the calendar at that time, down from the 24 that were initially planned for 2023. After the Chinese Grand Prix and the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix were canceled, this season was later downsized to 22 events.

Prior to joining Verstappen at Red Bull at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix, Hinsey had worked with the Dutch driver at Toro Rosso.

The world was shocked when Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg smashed into each other during the race and Verstappen went on to win his maiden Red Bull race.

Before Hinsey quit his role, the reigning world champion won three F1 races, and since then, he has risen to the pinnacle of success. Hinsey decided he wanted a new challenge without the requirement of constant travel, so he left his operation position and moved back to Milton Keynes.

“Do I miss it? I don’t miss the travelling,” Hinsey told the Sky Sports F1 podcast. “That’s why I quit travelling at the end of 17.

“The, you know, 19 races looking at 24 races was a lot and it’s a bit of a different story between Max.

“Max is sitting here winning world championships and I was at the time performance engineering a second/third place team and he’s, like driving effectively on easy mode, not much challenge and all the races and travel.

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“I get it, but even me, like I didn’t have any aspirations to be like, ‘Oh, I have to be a world championship winning engineer.’

“I was like, I do this because it’s challenging and interesting and when it became too rinse and repeat, I was like, I’d like another challenge and that’s when I decided to go back to the factory to focus on development rather than operation.”

Hinsey got to know Verstappen very well due to the time they spent together. He emphasized that despite what was said about the 25-year-old driver, he actually considers him as one of the easiest drivers to deal with.

“I’ll be honest, like working with him was probably one of the easiest drivers I had to work with,” he revealed. “The communication loop was super tight.

“A lot of it was nonverbal. I’d look through the data at night, have a chat with him, you know, before he left Friday night. What do you think about this? The tools, talk with GP [Gianpiero Lambiase, Verstappen’s race engineer] about the setup and that was it.

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