Shakedown run with RB15 put a smile on Verstappen's face

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

Shakedown run with RB15 put a smile on Verstappen's face

Pierre Gasly will partner Verstappen this season after stepping up from Toro Rosso - where he worked with Honda a year ago - and the Frenchman's experience convinces him the Red Bull-Honda pairing has potential.

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.

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

Excitement is building as Wednesday sees the second of three 2019 Formula 1 vehicle launches with Red Bull set to lift the cover on the RB15 this afternoon, United Kingdom time.

Red Bull will be powered by the Japanese manufacturer this year after ending their fractious relationship with Renault.

Its 12-year partnership with Renault has now come to an end and instead it has linked up with Honda, joining junior team Toro Rosso on the marque's roster, after it made the move for 2018.

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The RB15 will run for the first time at British Grand Prix venue Silverstone today (Wednesday) as part of a filming day. He will partner Max Verstappen.

Daniel Ricciardo's departure to Renault has opened the door for 23-year-old Pierre Gasly to stake his claim as a race victor of the future.

"With Honda, we're expecting a lot, we're all very positive but I think it also needs to take a little bit of time, it can not be from race one it will be flawless". I am optimistic, but also realistic and only time will tell as to how we will get on.

"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 vehicle 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.

"I want to get the best out of myself, but you have to see what the auto and engine are going to do".

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