Shakedown run with RB15 put a smile on Verstappen's face

Jose Verdugo
Febrero 14, 2019

Red Bull Racing unleashed its RB15 today at Silverstone in the capable hands of Max Verstappen, and while it was but a shakedown run it still left the Dutchman smiling.

Red Bull saw progress in Honda, when they partnered with junior team Toro Rosso, and were convinced they would make the gains required to push on and become a title contender once more.

Max Verstappen says Red Bull has high expectations of Honda this season but is realistic enough to know success will take time.

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

Verstappen, who shared the victories with Australian Daniel Ricciardo last season, has a new team-mate for 2019 in Frenchman Pierre Gasly.

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

"After my first run, I was smiling - very happy with how the auto was behaving plus the engine as well". "The first time was in Super Formula, so I went to Japan a lot, spent time in the country to learn the culture, to learn the way they communicate, the way they work and it's really different than what we have in Europe so you really need to adapt yourself to the culture and understand how things work there if you want to extract the best from the people".

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"Until we get to Australia, my goals are a bit blind".

Verstappen will get the first proper taste of his new Red Bull during next week's first pre-season test at Barcelona's Circuit de Catlunya. "I feel energised and I'm ready to attack".

Red Bull finished third in the constructors' championship behind Mercedes and Ferrari previous 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.

"The buzz really starts at the beginning of the year when you see the vehicle coming together".

"We're taking nothing for granted and there's absolutely no feeling of entitlement to be at the front, " he said.

Technical director James Allison said the team had worked hard on the suspension and aerodynamics to deliver a auto that would be kinder to its tyres than past year and remain competitive at every track on the calendar.

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