Max Verstappen says data gained from Toro Rosso is "very promising" as Red Bull continue to talk up their 2019 switch to Honda power units. Toro Rosso have scored points in three of the last four races as they end the season strongly with Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley.
Gasly scored a fourth-place finish in Bahrain – Honda's best result since returning to F1 with McLaren in 2015 – and the Frenchman will partner Verstappen in the senior Red Bull team in 2019.
Additional top-10 finishes in Monaco, Hungary and Belgium have not just boosted Gasly's reputation, but also that of the Honda power unit.
Although the Japanese marque has struggled to match the output of F1's three other manufacturers, Red Bull are confident that the fresh 2019-spec model will keep them in the hunt for honours, a view bolstered by Toro Rosso's data in recent months.
"I think it's very promising," Verstappen said. "At the end of the day, Red Bull took the decision on the move to Honda power and of course now they start to work more and more closer together.
"But it's also difficult to say because of the car, to see the real performance in the engine in the wing levels and stuff.
"For sure, we are targeting to be at least at the same level as where we are now at the beginning of the season, in terms of competitiveness.
"And from there onwards, we just have to develop faster and push more. But at the moment I could say a lot of lovely stories but I don't know how it's going to pan out."
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