Red Bull driver Max Verstappen believes that with Honda on board with the team for 2019 and beyond, the team has extra motivation to up their level of performance. The team finally cut ties with Renault after a tumultuous time together since the beginning of the hybrid era in 2014.
Since the French manufacturer's success with Red Bull dramatically ended after four consecutive double championship-winning years from 2010-2013, Red Bull has very publically declared their former partner cannot win in F1 anymore.
Four very awkward and drama-filled years later after much has been said about the other party in the press, Red Bull is hoping they finally have an engine with which they can challenge for a world championship in the form of Honda.
“I’m very excited but the whole team is. You can really feel it,” Verstappen said.
“I think it’s good that the whole team is super-motivated for next year. We know that we can build a great car.
“We are just waiting to have the whole package together but I definitely feel a difference compared to the last years where the motivation was there, everybody was always trying to do their best but now they’re just so looking forward to next year.
“I think to have that extra motivation will definitely help us to be more successful next year.”
Although the Dutchman is confident of improved performance from the team, that confidence didn't extend so far as to ensure a title challenge in 2019.
“I always find that a really difficult question, because you’re so dependent on the package in Formula 1. I mean, when I was watching back in the day to Formula 1, it seemed like Lewis was ready for the title in his first year.
“Of course, I think in a year you can always do things better but I think that’s every year. Even if, at the end of the day, you win the title, there are always things which you can do better.
So, yeah, even if we have a winning package, for sure there will be weekends where maybe you make a mistake, or it can be a better weekend overall. Hopefully first we’ll have that package.”
Verstappen will be joined at Red Bull by Pierre Gasly next season, the Frenchman replacing the Renault-bound Daniel Ricciardo.