Reigning World Champion Max Verstappen swapped his RB19 for something drastically different following last weekend’s Miami Grand Prix, where the Dutchman secured his third win of the 2023 season.
Verstappen made a trip to the Homestead-Miami Speedway where he tested a bizarre looking Honda, made from multiple of the Japanese manufacturer’s cars.
Verstappen drove the “IndyCar Beast” for a few laps, with the car having an IndyCar power unit, the front end of a Honda NSX and the bodywork of a Honda CR-V Hybrid.
The sensational creation staggeringly produces a thrilling 800bhp, with Verstappen having openly admitted in a video on Honda Racing Global’s YouTube page that he’d “never seen something like this before”.
In an attempt to create a “rolling laboratory”, the car possesses a 2.2l twin-turbocharged electrified Honda V6 engine and transmission, which is brilliantly kept underneath the bodywork of a Honda CR-V.
The mind-boggling design is part of Honda’s push to test electric power units in racing cars, with the aim of making motorsport more sustainable.
“The CR-V Hybrid Racer is our ‘rolling electrified laboratory’, to investigate where the talented men and women of HPD and Honda could go with electrification, hybrid technology and 100% renewable fuels,” David Salters, president and technical director for Honda performance development.
“It epitomizes Honda’s fun-to-drive ethos, showcases electrification and it just rocks our car culture roots and racing heritage!”
After driving the car, Verstappen was asked for his thoughts by former IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe.
“Good. I like it! It actually has quite a bit of grip,” said Verstappen.
With Honda’s partnership with Red Bull coming to an end in 2025, Verstappen will need to make the most of testing the manufacturer’s designs, ahead of the Austrians technical partnership with Ford.
Verstappen was sensational in Miami last weekend and secured Red Bull’s fourth 1-2 of the season, with the team’s power unit being simply unbeatable.
The win saw the Dutchman’s championship lead extend to 14 points ahead of the upcoming triple-header, which gets underway next weekend at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
His win at the Miami International Autodrome was incredibly the 38th of his F1 career, with him having now matched Sebastian Vettel’s total number of wins for Red Bull.
It means the two-time World Champion will become Red Bull’s most decorated driver in terms of race wins should he claim one more victory, something he’ll likely do this month.