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Honda upgrade in Monza will close gap to Mercedes - Red Bull

Honda upgrade in Monza will close gap to Mercedes - Red Bull

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Honda upgrade in Monza will close gap to Mercedes - Red Bull

Honda upgrade in Monza will close gap to Mercedes - Red Bull

Red Bull are expecting a new engine from Honda to arrive in time for the Italian Grand Prix and provide a "real boost" as they try to hunt down Mercedes and get the better of Ferrari. Max Verstappen has mixed it with the Scuderia on occasion this year, but the RB15 is not as impressive as some of its recent predecessors.

Mercedes have won all six races this season, with Ferrari dropping the ball when they appeared strong in Bahrain and Azerbaijan.

Verstappen has led Red Bull's charge, finishing third in Australia and Spain, albeit well off the pace of Mercedes, before the Dutchman pushed Lewis Hamilton hard in Monaco, only to be demoted from second to fourth by a time penalty.

Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko says the team did not expect their rivals to make such good progress ahead of 2019, but hopes the balance will be redressed at the end of the European season.

"We have underestimated the step that Mercedes and Ferrari made over the winter," Marko told Motorsport-Magazin.

"We had sorted out our problems [in Monaco], but when Mercedes turned up the party mode in Q3, we immediately lost three tenths in the first sector again.

"That [step] comes with engine number four in Monza.

"Unless the jump is so significant, then we could accept the penalty earlier. According to the figures we have from Honda, it'll be a real boost."

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