Ahead of Red Bull Racing’s switch to Honda power for 2019, Max Verstappen says his teams analysis of Toro Rosso’s data is giving them reason to be hopeful.
Red Bull are switching to Honda power for 2019, a somewhat risky move considering that the Japanese manufacturer is yet to reach its full potential since re-joining the sport in 2015. With three years of underpowered unreliability while supplying McLaren, Honda were dropped by the British team for 2018, leaving them free to join forces with Toro Rosso.
Overall, the partnership has been quite fruitful so far. While there have been some niggling reliability issues, Honda have stepped up to the mark and Pierre Gasly has brought home several decent points finishes this year.
With Red Bull Racing opting to drop Renault power in favour of Honda for next year, Max Verstappen says his team’s analysis of the junior squad’s data is cause for optimism:
“I think it’s very promising. At the end of the day, Red Bull took the decision on the move to Honda power and of course now they start to work more and more closer together. But it’s also difficult to say because of the car, to see the real performance in the engine in the wing levels and stuff.”
Verstappen will be joined by Pierre Gasly at RBR, with Daniel Ricciardo choosing not to stick around to see how the new engine partnership works out. With Gasly’s prior knowledge of the Honda PU, Verstappen says he’s hopeful of the team maintaining their position in the field next season before elevating to frontrunning capabilities in 2020:
“For sure, we are targeting to be at least at the same level as where we are now at the beginning of the season, in terms of competitiveness,” he said. “And from there onwards, we just have to develop faster and push more. But at the moment I could say a lot of lovely stories but I don’t know how it’s going to pan out.”