Max Verstappen no longer believes that Helmut Marko's prediction that Red Bull Racing can deliver at least five wins this year is so far-fetched.
Before the 2019 season kicked off and following Red Bull Racing's change to Honda power, Marko looked into his crystal ball and went on record to declare: "We will win at least five races".
The Austrian's comment was dismissed as an over-enthusiastic prophecy, tempered by both team boss Christian Horner and Verstappen.
But following the significant progress of the RB15/Honda package, endorsed by the Dutchman's wins in Austria and Germany, Verstappen has reined in his skepticism about the good Dr. Marko's optimistic call.
"I spoke to him about that and I was like, ‘Oof, Helmut, it’s quite optimistic, five victories in the first year working together with Honda’," Verstappen told Formula 1's official website.
"Because you know, at the end of the day, you have to get to know each other more and you learn more and more every single race together.
"But as soon as we won the first one, then of course Helmut was like, ‘I think we can get to five’ and I was like ‘okay’.
"It’s not bad to have won one, and now of course we’ve won two, so knowing that normally in the second half, we improve even more with updates to the car, it’s possible, I think.
"Hopefully, we can just close the gap to Mercedes, and even Ferrari of course – in qualifying they’re still very fast – to always be there, because then you have a lot more opportunity to win.
"But at the end of the day, there are 21 races and I want to win all 21, not just five. But we’re working on it and I think we’re getting better every weekend."
Horner has downplayed Red Bull's chances of success this weekend in Hungary, believing Mercedes W10 will have the upper hand around the tight and twisty track.
But as usual, Verstappen will give it his all, and will also be lurking and ready to pounce if ever trouble heads Mercedes' way.
"It’s not guaranteed, because you still need to find a good set-up as well on the car. But we’ll definitely give it a try."