Is Max Verstappen predicting a slow start for Honda and Red Bull?

Is Max Verstappen predicting a slow start for Honda and Red Bull?

Is Max Verstappen predicting a slow start for Honda and Red Bull?

Australian Daniel Ricciardo has left Red Bull to join Renault with Verstappen, who finished fourth in the drivers' standings previous year, to be partnered by young Frenchman Pierre Gasly.

Red Bull's RB15 is the successor to a RB14 vehicle which finished last season battling for victories, with Verstappen, who won twice in 2018, widely tipped to challenge multiple champions Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.

Max Verstappen gave the auto its first laps in a shakedown at Silverstone, the first time the team have run a Honda engine.

"I was really excited to jump in the vehicle and as soon as we got going it felt pretty normal", he said.

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"The day's done, first few kilometres with the auto", Verstappen said in a video on the Red Bull Racing Twitter account.

"We are expecting a lot from Honda and are positive, but it will not be flawless from race one".

Toro Rosso finished ninth of 10 teams a year ago with the Honda engine but Red Bull have sounded optimistic about the progress made by the Japanese manufacturer. "Now we've got eight days' of testing ahead and it's important that we maximise track time and get as much out of that process as possible prior to the first race of the new season in Melbourne".

"At the moment I am of course very optimistic, but also realistic".

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Verstappen has won five races in the two and a half years he's spent at Red Bull Racing. Now we can go testing properly, we'll see what we can get out of that and we'll be able to understand the auto and the engine a bit better.

The vehicle was launched in a striking dark blue and red colour scheme which the team confirmed was just for the RB15's first shakedown at Silverstone on Wednesday.

What do you make of the new Red Bull challenger and do you think Honda will help them scale new heights this season? While they will need to give Honda some time before they can realise their true potential, the data has already been very promising.

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