Verstappen 'smiling' after testing new Red Bull vehicle

Helmut Marko on Red Bull's 'optimism' for 2019

Red Bull unleashed a special-edition livery with the revamped paint job featuring substantially more red, but it is understood the former world champions will revert to their normal colours in time for the season-opening race in Melbourne on March 17.

The Honda-powered RB15 turned its first laps during a shakedown at Silverstone on Wednesday.

The 2019 Red Bull auto is the first to be made since the former world champions formed a partnership with new power providers Honda.

Red Bull have conceded that Honda have been tirelessly working through the winter and the 2019 auto could maybe bridge the gap between Red Bull and the top 2 teams.

They will use Honda power units for the first time, and the auto carries Honda branding on its nose and engine cover.

"I've had the chance to have spent two years with Honda already", Gasly said.

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"So our objective very much is to try and be more consistent across all of the circuits, and hopefully with more horsepower than we had past year will only help to lessen that gap".

"What I'm most looking forward to is starting the season and seeing how the whole team is operating together with Honda and how the engine is performing together with the chassis", said Verstappen ahead of the initial limited mileage filming day. "I really want to feel how it upshifts, downshifts, how the driveability is, how much power there is".

Australian Daniel Ricciardo has left Red Bull to join Renault with Verstappen, who finished fourth in the drivers' standings past year, to be partnered by young Frenchman Pierre Gasly. "We're all very positive, but it also needs to take a bit of time".

"At the moment I am of course very optimistic, but also realistic".

What's changing on the Formula 1 2019 cars? "So I think it will take time, but both Red Bull and Honda have the same targets and I'm sure they will manage to achieve what they want".

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