Max Verstappen does not think Red Bull will be able to compete with Mercedes and Ferrari in terms of power right away in the upcoming 2019 Formula 1 season, but insists that everyone within the team, and Honda too, are working tirelessly towards that goal.
Red Bull are currently within the bracket of the elite teams in F1 alongside Mercedes and Ferrari, but have not won a constructor's championship since 2013, with the Silver Arrows dominating over the past five years.
Last year, the team made the decision to ditch Renault as their engine supplier in favour of Honda, and even though reports from the camp suggest the Japanese manufacturer are making impressive strides with their new power unit, Verstappen doesn't expect it to the best on the track quite yet.
“You notice that the drive is there to win. I think it’s there now from both sides — the team and the engine supplier," the Dutchman told verstappen.nl.
“It’s a new start with Honda and everyone is motivated,”
“I do not think we can immediately compete with Ferrari and Mercedes in terms of power, but Honda is doing everything it can to get there as fast as possible.
“We are going to try to win as many races as possible. If that is the case, you can eventually also go for the championship. It’s all difficult to guess at the moment, but hopefully it is positive.”
Verstappen revealed that he has only tested the new Red Bull car engine and car in a simulation scenario, but seemed upbeat about its performance capabilities.
“I have only driven the new car on the simulator so far, but it feels positive,” he admitted to Formule 1.
“Obviously you don’t know what the other teams have, so it’s about waiting. It’s also exciting, but that really only comes when I’m in the car.
“You never know what to really expect beforehand."