Gearing up for a season in which many believe he could be a title contender, Max Verstappen admits the onus isn’t solely on him but also Red Bull.
Last season Verstappen was third in the standings, a distant third at that, but still third.
With three race wins on the board, he was the driver with the most victories outside the Mercedes works team.
This year he wants more but admits it is also on Red Bull and Honda to deliver a package that can challenge Lewis Hamilton.
“It’s not only me… the package needs to be quick so let’s see,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“We have been working really hard all winter to be able to start the year in a better fashion compared to last year and now it’s time to find out if it’s true or not.”
While Verstappen will be chasing a first World title this season, Hamilton is going for his seventh.
Mercedes has won six on the trot, both in the Drivers and the Constructors’.
Verstappen says it is on Red Bull to break that run.
“Lewis has been winning a lot, Mercedes has been winning a lot … as a team we try to make it difficult for them.
“Lewis and the team both do a great job so it’s now up to us to try to give them a harder time.”
Like his rivals, though, the Dutchman arrived in Melbourne with little clue about how this year’s pecking order will play out.
Red Bull had a solid pre-season but history has shown time and time again that pre-season is not racing.
“I don’t really look too much at the times, and you don’t know what other people are running.
“More runs have been done on different days, some days were very windy, some were not, some days were very cloudy, some were sunny, so it’s difficult to tell.
“We just try to do our own program, which I think we pretty much did. [We] evolved it, we were happy about it, it always seems you could have done better.
“But I am just looking forward to getting started so we don’t have to keep answering all those questions about winter testing … it’s not really representative, everybody is just doing their own program.”