Max Verstappen says that he is excited to get his on-track relationship with Honda underway. Red Bull will use Honda engines for the 2019 season after its relationship with Renault ended at the conclusion of the 2018 season.
Verstappen got behind the wheel of the RB15 on Wednesday after the car was launched in a special one-off livery. The energy drink squad is at Silverstone, recording one of its filming days that is limited to 100km of on-track action.
"What I'm most looking forward to is the start of the season and to see how the whole team is operating together with Honda, and how the engine is performing to relative to the chassis.
"I'm very excited to just get started with the engine. I really want to feel how it upshifts, downshifts, how the driveability is, how much power there is. From there you just start to work together with the car what you can improve."
Verstappen will get a clearer picture of the Honda engine throughout winter testing, which kicks off next week in Barcelona.
This year, Verstappen is joined at Red Bull by Pierre Gasly who replaces Daniel Ricciardo. The Australian opted to leave the team at the end of last season and join Renault in search of a new challenge.
Honda spent the 2018 season with Red Bull's junior team Toro Rosso, with Gasly holding a year's experience to his advantage at the senior squad. However, Verstappen knows that the partnership will not be an instant success as the Japanese manufacturer continues to find gains.
"We are expecting a lot," said Verstappen. "We're all very positive, but it also needs to take a bit of time. It's not like from race one it can be perfect. For sure there will be moments where as a team we'll make mistakes or it's maybe not going as we want it to.
"What is very important is the team and Honda are pushing really hard to improve the development. At the moment I am of course very optimistic, but also realistic. Time will tell how we're going to perform."