Red Bull motorsport advisor Dr Helmut Marko offered a brutal response when asked if the team held any trepidation in switching to Honda power units after seeing McLaren struggle with the Japanese marque previously, pointing out that Red Bull far exceeded their rivals with matching engines in 2018.
McLaren ditched Honda for Renault for the 2018 campaign after three years of poor reliability and sluggish performance with Honda.
However, Red Bull will make the opposite, having grown tired of Renault for similar reasons.
Red Bull have regularly talked up the performance boost they are expecting from Honda next year, and their previous failings are of little concern to Marko.
Asked if McLaren’s struggles concerned Red Bull, Marko told Motorsport-Magazin: “We lap McLaren twice in a normal race – with the same engine. So what do you think it is?
“Of course, if you only look at downforce – you just have to look at how the previous year went in Spa: full wing, full downforce. Of course, they were the fastest in the corners.
“But on the straights… if we were going that way, we would never achieve our results. You have to make a compromise. The lap time decides, not the cornering speed.
“Certainly there is a certain risk, Honda has to catch up, must work aggressively.
“But that does not deter us. I do not think we can count on getting along with three engines like Mercedes and Ferrari.
“But Max and Daniel have shown a few times what else is possible. We started from 18 or 19 and in two or three laps we were already in the lead again.”
2019 will be the acid test for the Austrian marquee as they look forward to a new dawn with Honda. But Red Bull are fairly confident that the Japanese manufacturer can pull through.