F1 in 2019: Max Verstappen debuts deceptive Red Bull RB15

Tanya Simon
February 13, 2019

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.

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.

Honda is hoping to profit from retaining the same power unit concept for a third straight season - the first time it has done so in the hybrid era, having abandoned its 2015/16 layout for its 2017 campaign with McLaren.

Ricciardo has left Red Bull to join Renault with Verstappen to be partnered by young Frenchman Pierre Gasly. 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.

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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.

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

"I'm very excited to just get started with the engine", Verstappen said. "I really want to feel how it upshifts, downshifts, how the driveability is, how much power there is". We've obviously been able to strike at venues that have suited the characteristics of our vehicle, winning four races last year - should have been five - and three races the year before. "We're all very positive, but it also needs to take a bit of time".

"What is very important is the team and Honda 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. "And for sure this helped me in Toro Rosso as well".

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