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

Pierre Gasly will partner Verstappen this season after stepping up from Toro Rosso - where he worked with Honda a year ago - and the Frenchman's experience convinces him the Red Bull-Honda pairing has potential.

Red Bull finished third in the constructors' championship behind Mercedes and Ferrari past year, 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.

Max Verstappen said he was "smiling" after testing his new Red Bull at Silverstone on Wednesday as he plots a way to dethrone world champion Lewis Hamilton.

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

Red Bull have conceded that Honda have been tirelessly working through the winter and the 2019 vehicle could maybe bridge the gap between Red Bull and the top 2 teams.

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Toro Rosso finished ninth of 10 teams past year with the Honda engine but Red Bull have sounded optimistic about the progress made by the Japanese manufacturer.

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 auto through its paces on Wednesday. Red Bull won four races in 2018 but believes a works partnership with Honda will boost its chances of challenging Mercedes and Ferrari more consistently, and Verstappen admits working with a new manufacturer is something he is eager to do. "And from there onwards, you just start to work together with the vehicle [to see] what you can improve".

"What is very important is the team and Honda are pushing really hard to improve the development". "The first two or three weeks feel like they are good to have and then after a break you want to get going".

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

What do you make of the new Red Bull challenger and do you think Honda will help them scale new heights this season?

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