Max Verstappen is not ready to declare himself a real challenger for the 2019 title, despite Red Bull's outward confidence about the new partnership with Honda. After spending much of the inter talking up Honda's power, Red Bull were quietly impressive at pre-season testing.
Verstappen was prevented from pushing the RB15 to its upper limits in Barcelona after Pierre Gasly's crash on the penultimate day meant Red Bull effectively ran out of parts.
However, his boss at Red Bull, Dr Helmut Marko, has named the Dutchman alongside Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel as the main three contenders this year.
When asked if he agrees, Verstappen told Ziggo Sport: "It's just so difficult to say.
"The most important thing is that we are consistent this year, and whether that is enough for the world championship, I don't know.
"I'm a realist and an optimist and it's hard to say."
Red Bull ditched Renault for 2019 after 12 years in partnership, four of which ended in title success.
Verstappen came away from testing suggesting that the Japanese marque had enabled Red Bull to lead the way in terms of long-run pace, and he had more praise for the team's new partners.
"Not to say something against anyone else, but this engine is much more logical. It (the package) just looks super tight -- really beautiful," said Verstappen.
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