F1: Dr Helmut Marko encouraged by early RB signs


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Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko believes the team will be able to mount a serious challenge for honours after linking up with Honda.

The Milton Keynes-based team ended their partnership with Renault and have Honda as their new engine suppliers for the 2019 season.

Red Bull finished a distant third in the constructors’ standings last season with 419 points, 236 behind champions Mercedes and over 150 adrift of Ferrari in second.

Red Bull star Max Verstappen completed his first laps in the new Red Bull car on Wednesday, and Marko says his initial impression is they will be able to challenge the Scuderia and the Silver Arrows in the coming campaign.

“The Honda engine already had more power than Renault at the end of last season,” he told Auto Bild. “And now they have improved it even more over the winter.”

He added: “The numbers that we see are very positive. As for power, for the first time we can say that we have a ‘party mode’.

“Hopefully it should be enough for us to drive at the front on our own.”

Verstappen is 5.00 to win the Drivers’ Championship next season and new team-mate Pierre Gasly can be backed at 29.00.

Red Bull are 4.50 to claim the team prize, Ferrari are 3.75 and Mercedes are the 1.60 to win the Constructors’ Championship.

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