Helmut Marko says Aston Martin Red Bull Racing should be aiming high during their first year with Honda in 2019, with the aim to give Max Verstappen the opportunity to become Formula 1’s youngest World Champion.
Verstappen has two years to take away the title as the youngest champion from Sebastian Vettel but Marko, the motorsport boss at Red Bull, says the aim is to go for the championship in 2019 in their first season with Honda.
“We’re really looking forward to next year,” said Marko to Motorsport.com. “The aim is to have the youngest world champion. Two years we have, but we go for it next year.
“We know the first year with a new engine manufacturer is not easy. But the aim is, and the goal that I’ve told all the people, is that we have to go for the championship, from the beginning. No excuses.”
Marko has watched the sister team at Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda take multiple engines and grid penalties in 2018, but despite some concerns about reliability, Marko is happy that the recent changes have primarily been tactical as they prepare for the 2019 season, with the engine also showing itself to be more competitive.
“It’s tactical to get the best for next year,” said Marko. “Toro Rosso are sacrificing their season for next year. It’s part of our concept that we have with Honda. The figures are already ahead of Renault.
“But even so if you have one or two starts from the back, with Verstappen there’s some excitement. On the radio he’s talking like he’s sitting with a cup of tea. The sort of information he is asking for… He’s unbelievable. There is no limit yet.”