Honda will become Red Bull's engine supplier in 2019, as the energy drink squad ends its long-standing relationship with Renault. This season, Red Bull's junior team Toro Rosso have been running with Honda engines, and have scored significantly more points than McLaren in 2017.
McLaren previously ran with Honda over the course of three seasons, but the spell, which ran from 2015 to 2017, was a disaster as the team claimed a highest finish in sixth place in 2016. But Verstappen is optimistic after seeing the progress Honda has made.
"Very excited," he replied when asked how he was feeling ahead of the partnership. "They seemed really quick. Now we try to finish off the season in the best way possible and then the whole team is very motivated to start working on next year. The whole team is very upbeat, excited and motivated."
And Verstappen believes that Red Bull has played a part in Honda's developments: "Now they just did they own thing in making the engine, instead of the team telling them how to make the engine. They have got a few people on board as well, different management, so it looks very promising.
"A year ago it was a bit difficult to judge that, but that was always their intention and then you have to wait if they are really going to succeed. But they are definitely heading into the right direction so I'm very happy with that."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing