Max Verstappen upbeat as new Red Bull RB15 gets launch date

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Max Verstappen remains upbeat about his prospects for 2019 as Red Bull confirm the RB15 will be revealed on February 13.

The Dutchman is set to lead the Anglo-Austrian team's charge this season following the departure of Daniel Ricciardo and both parties are pinning their hopes on new engine supplier Honda to push them forward.

While testing is still two weeks away, Verstappen has already got an early feel for the new car virtually, gaining a good first impression.

"I've only driven the new car in the simulator so far, but it feels positive," the 21-year-old was quoted by Dutch website Formule 1.

"You obviously don't know what the other teams are doing. It's also about waiting. It's exciting although the real excitement will come when I'll be in the car.

"You don't know what to expect beforehand."

Despite his optimism, Max still admits he isn't sure if the new car will be strong enough to build a championship challenge with.

“It’s a new start with Honda and everyone is motivated,” he said. “I do not think we can immediately compete with Ferrari and Mercedes in terms of power, but Honda is doing everything it can to get there as fast as possible.

“We are going to try to win as many races as possible. If that is the case, you can eventually also go for the championship. It’s all difficult to guess at the moment, but hopefully, it is positive.”

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Early reports on the 2019 Honda engine weren't so good with claims of vibrations on the dyno restricting the ability to test at higher levels, but Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko insists the target remains the same.

 "Our ultimate goal is to make Max Verstappen the world champion in 2019," he told German broadcaster RTL.

"It's very important that we address the reliability issues we had with Renault in the previous years and Honda promises much more."