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2019 F1

Rumours denies zero Honda engine problems so far – Red Bull

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Dr Helmut Marko has added his denial to speculation Red Bull is struggling with excessive vibration from the 2019 Honda power unit.

Actually, team official Marko insists the Japanese manufacturer has done a “great job” over the winter, and claims Red Bull is behind Ferrari but ahead of Mercedes.

“Everything they (Honda) told us has happened. We have had zero engine problems so far,” he told Auto Bild.

Team boss Christian Horner was also asked about the alleged vibrations, and said in Barcelona: “I have no idea where that (the reports) comes from.”

Despite its world championship success in the past, it is the first time Red Bull has had a clear ‘works’ engine partner.

“Honda has incredible resources,” said Marko. “It’s unbelievable how many parts they take with them just for a test.”

He says the engine has been run conservatively in Barcelona, but Red Bull notices a “big power boost” compared to last year’s Renault.

“At the moment we are number 2 just behind Ferrari. Maybe two or three tenths.

“But we are faster than Mercedes and that’s not just because of the car,” Marko added.

He thinks Max Verstappen is now ready for title success, explaining that the Dutchman has “gained more confidence in the winter and is now ready for the world championship”.

When asked what his hopes for 2019 are, Verstappen confirmed: “Hopefully many victories.”

“Working with Honda is very good. They are calm and focused, which is very different compared to working with Renault,” he added.

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