'Optimistic but realistic': Verstappen feels good ahead of F1 season


In a dramatic new look, the striking RB15 has been released in a blue and red livery - a sharp departure from the team's usual look.

Featuring a one-off livery for the reveal, Max Verstappen took his first laps in the new RB15 that the team hopes will be a challenger to Mercedes and Ferrari this season.

"I am very excited to get started as the off-season has been quite long", said Verstappen, 21.

"After my first run, I was smiling - very happy with how the auto was behaving plus the engine as well".

Verstappen completed 39 laps with the team reporting that the vehicle ran "faultlessly".

"Of course today is all about filming, but it's also a really valuable opportunity to check that all the systems work and that the auto is fundamentally in good shape before we head to Barcelona next week where hopefully it will be a bit warmer!" said team boss Christian Horner.

Back in 2015 the team released an abstract black and white design akin to a zebra that was used throughout pre-season testing, only to be dropped in time for first race of the season.

Red Bull are no strangers to causing a surprise during "launch season".

More news: Russian Federation challenges United States defense in space, developing capabilities
More news: Secretary Pompeo kicks-off five nation trip in Central Europe
More news: Dua Lipa wins Best New Artist at 2019 Grammy Awards

Red Bull's RB15, with special livery, is steered around Silverstone by Max Verstappen.

What can we expect from Red Bull in 2019?

Red Bull have unveiled their first Honda-powered Formula 1 auto, with Max Verstappen driving the initial laps at Silverstone.

Red Bull took four straight double titles at the start of the decade but has taken only a handful of wins in most years of the hybrid era, frequently pinning its deficit on erstwhile supplier Renault.

Toro Rosso finished ninth of 10 teams a year ago with the Honda engine but Red Bull has sounded optimistic about the progress made by the Japanese manufacturer.

"Formula 1 is the pinnacle of motorsport".

The Briton won 11 races previous year on his way to becoming only the third driver to win five titles and with a career tally of 73 wins is now only 18 off Michael Schumacher's all-time record of 91.

Verstappen, who shared the victories with Australian Daniel Ricciardo last season, has a new team-mate for 2019 in Frenchman Pierre Gasly.