Verstappen insists high expectations of Honda are realistic

F1 in 2019: Max Verstappen debuts deceptive Red Bull RB15

Red Bull unveil livery change on new F1 car for 2019

Red Bull is expected to revert to a more traditional livery when testing begins in Barcelona next week.

Today's vehicle launch meant that for the first time a Honda powered Red Bull was presented, a move that has been spoken about ever since its announcement.

Verstappen, the former teammate of Australian Daniel Ricciardo, is set to be among Hamilton's chief challengers this year, and the young Dutchman put his new vehicle through its paces on Wednesday.

Whether Red Bull will remain among Grand Prix's trio of front-runners will likely depend on Honda's ability to deliver a performing and reliable engine.

"I am very excited to get started as the off-season has been quite long", said Verstappen.

Red Bull finished third in the constructors' championship behind Mercedes and Ferrari a year ago, but despite the change in engine supplier and the potential disruption that could bring, team boss Christian Horner is confident the team can challenge for victories more often.

Verstappen has won five races in the two and a half years he's spent at Red Bull Racing. "It felt good and we had no problems, so very happy with that".

The team's new addition to its driver line-up, Pierre Gasly, arrives from junior squad Toro Rosso, which used Honda's power units last season. "And from there onwards, you just start to work together with the auto [to see] what you can improve". "We're all very positive, but it also needs to take a bit of time". For sure there will be moments where, as a team, we make mistakes or it's not going as we want it to, but I think what is very important is that the team and Honda, we are pushing really hard to improve the development. I am optimistic, but also realistic and only time will tell as to how we will get on. While they will need to give Honda some time before they can realise their true potential, the data has already been very promising.

"Formula 1 is the pinnacle of motorsport".

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