Max Verstappen says he was left with a good "first impression" of Red Bull's new RB19 after sampling the new car during a secret shakedown run at Silverstone on Friday.
Red Bull unveiled its new charger – or rather a close example – in New York a week ago where it also announced its future engine partnership with Ford.
But the Milton Keynes-based took advantage of one of its two authorized filming days – limited to 100 km on Pirelli control tyres – to conduct a full systems check of its RB19 before heading to Bahrain for pre-season testing.
"I've just driven the RB19 for the first time, and of course it was a filming day, but it was a good first impression," Verstappen said in a clip posted by Red Bull on Twitter.
"Everything went really well, really smooth so it is exactly what you want from a day like this and now I am very excited to go to Bahrain."
RB19 👉 Spotted in the wild 👀 pic.twitter.com/B7BOKdR56Q
— Oracle Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) February 10, 2023
This year, Verstappen is of course gunning for a third world title in succession, and the Dutchman is hoping that Red Bull's new contender will be just as efficient and fast as its 2022 dominant successor.
However, Verstappen knows that his team's main rivals will have not stood still since last season and will have pulled out the stops to produce a car that will allow them to catch up with the reigning world champions.
"Of course you always try to go for it but I don’t know if we are going to be good enough," Verstappen said.
"Of course we believe as a team we are, we are motivated and we have come off the back of a very strong year, and we are working flat-out to try and achieve that.
"Everyone back at the factory, the whole winter, was working flat-out, and once I came back from my holiday I was also working flat-out to try and be in the best shape possible, and once you get back into the car, you know that it’s go-time and you have to deliver."