After Daniel Ricciardo‘s departure to Renault, Verstappen is the man to look up to in Red Bull. The young drivver has high expectations from himself as well as the team, and will look to start the 2019 F1 season on a high.
After a successful second half of the season last year, that earned him a fourth place in the drivers standings, Verstappen is keen to boost his resume, and so that he can challenge guys like Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel on a regular basis.
Verstappen believes that this could be possible only if Red Bull get a car that is as good as the one that Lewis Hamilton has. “When I think of my own career, it is not convenient to sit next to Hamilton or Vettel right now,” Verstappen said. “Although I would absolutely do it if I had no other choice”, he adds.
“I believe that with Red Bull I can also become champion, as long as we have the right package together”, continued Verstappen. Verstappen has often poked remarks in the direction of Lewis Hamilton since the Brit won his fifth world title, last year.
“I think Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, Daniel Ricciardo and I could just as easily be champion with such a car,” Verstappen claimed. “When I see on-board images, I think Mercedes has not even gone full throttle in many races”, added Verstappen.
However, Red Bull’s chief Helmut Marko believes that Red Bull’s switch to Honda, when it comes to engines- will give them a boost in the Championships’ races.
“The figures make us really optimistic, also with regard to the increase in performance,” revealed Marko in an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com.
“For the first time we can also celebrate with a ‘party mode- the Honda engine is already slightly above the Renault engine, and you combine our GPS data with the data provided by Honda, we’ll be in the Mercedes and Ferrari region”, said Marko.
“Of course they’re not sleeping either. But they are already at such a high level that they can no longer make such jumps.”