Verstappen ‘smiling’ after testing new car, Latest Others News - The New Paper

Verstappen ‘smiling’ after testing new car

Max Verstappen said he was "smiling" after testing his new Red Bull at Silverstone on Wednesday, as he plots a way to dethrone world champion Lewis Hamilton.

The Dutchman, who joined the Mercedes driver on the track, is tipped to be among Hamilton's chief challengers this year.

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.

"The day's done, first few kilometres with the car," Verstappen, 21, said in a video on the Red Bull Racing Twitter account.

"After my first run I was smiling, very happy with how the car was behaving plus the engine as well. Very positive.

"Really nice group of people to work with as well, so I just can't wait to get started now for Barcelona and start working towards Melbourne. It was a very positive day, so very happy about it."

His hopes of a title charge will be determined by the performance and reliability of his team's new engine partner Honda.

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

Australian Daniel Ricciardo has left Red Bull to join Renault with Verstappen, who finished fourth in the drivers' standings last year, to be partnered by young Frenchman Pierre Gasly.

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

He will get the first proper taste of his new Red Bull during next week's first pre-season test in Barcelona. - AFP