Red Bull chief Christian Horner insists he was “proud” to see Max Verstappen on the podium in Australia but has played down talk of a title challenge in 2019.
The Milton Keynes-based outfit have struggled to mount a serious challenge to Mercedes and Ferrari over the past couple of seasons but a new power unit in 2019 could help them to close the gap.
Red Bull, who are priced at 15.00 to win the 2019 Constructors’ Championship, took to the track at Albert Park earlier this month with a Honda engine and the early signs of that partnership look positive.
Feeder team Toro Rosso enjoyed success with the Japanese supplier last term, and some have suggested Red Bull may even be title contenders with Honda on board.
Dutchman Verstappen managed to claim third spot in Melbourne but Horner is reluctant to get too carried away by the performance and insists there is still a lot of work to be done before they can be considered title contenders.
“I think it’s too early to talk about championships, but certainly to be on the podium is a great moment for Honda,” said Horner, as quoted by ESPN.
“We’re very proud of that achievement, grateful for the product they’ve given us. Hopefully it’s a starting point for a strong season.
“We want to close the gap to Mercedes and Ferrari [and] we’ve done that. It’s only one race but we have a good start. We have to build on this positive energy.”