Verstappen: “So far, so good” after trouble-free first Red Bull-Honda run
Traditionally, Red Bull haven’t always been quick out of the traps with their new cars, often favouring a longer period of development in the factory over early running on track. The team switched up that approach last year in order to try to hit the ground running, and this season – having switched from Renault to Honda power – they have done so again, with Max Verstappen giving the striking new RB15 a maiden run-out at Silverstone on Wednesday.
In the Dutchman’s hands the new car, which was revealed in a dynamic interim livery, completed 30 laps of Silverstone’s National Circuit on demonstration tyres during Red Bull’s filming day, and afterwards a relaxed Verstappen professed himself happy that everything had gone as planned.
“I was really excited to jump in the car and as soon as we got going it felt pretty normal,” said the 21-year-old. “It felt good and we had no problems, so I’m very happy with that. Of course today is a filming day, so there’s a limited amount you can get out of it, but it’s really important to have a day like this, before you go to the official tests.
“You get a first impression and you see if there are any little issues with the car or engine. Luckily we didn’t have any and it’s very positive that we had this opportunity. Now we can go testing properly, we’ll see what we can get out of that and we’ll be able to understand the car and the engine a bit better. But so far, so good.”
Eagerly watching Verstappen’s runs at the British Grand Prix venue were his new team mate Pierre Gasly and Team Principal Christian Horner, who underlined the importance of the filming day to the new car’s development.
“It’s always great to see a new car take its first run," said Horner. "RB15 is our first car with a Honda power unit and it looks resplendent in its one-off livery here at Silverstone. 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 car is fundamentally in good shape before we head to Barcelona next week, where hopefully it will be a bit warmer!
“Now we’ve got eight days of testing ahead and it’s important that we maximise track time and get as much out of that process as possible prior to the first race of the new season in Melbourne.”
The question is, where will the RB15 sit in the pecking order when the class of 2019 run in anger for the first time next week in Barcelona?