It is that time of the year when everyone has a prediction about the season ahead with Robert Doornbos saying Max Verstappen will give the game away after a few laps and Pierre Gasly won’t beat his team-mate.
The duo, though, face an uncertain run-in to pre-season testing as Red Bull have swapped to Honda power in the off-season and no one knows how that engine will perform.
Doornbos, a former F1 driver, reckons fans will know after just a few laps of Verstappen driving the new RB15.
“Max will know immediately how successful the new car can be, so I’ll be curious to see his face after a couple of laps behind the wheel,” he told Ziggo Sport.
“If he is disappointed straight away, Max will not hide it.
“He’ll immediately be punching the table with his fist.”
He added: “Last year, the car was one of the best on the grid, if not the best.
“It’s important that the Honda engine is reliable and not inferior to Ferrari and Mercedes.
“If it is good enough, Max will get good results, because last year his engine was down 70hp.”
The Dutchman, who briefly raced for Minardi and Red Bull in 2005 and 2006, had a word of warning for Verstappen’s new team-mate, Gasly.
While the Frenchman says he’s not there to play second fiddle to Verstappen, Doornbos feels it a position he had best get used to.
“Pierre said that he is not coming to Red Bull to be the second driver, but I think it’s better to stay quiet,” he said.
“He has a chance to be in the top team, but at the moment for him I think it’s better not to attract too much attention. Because he has no chance next to Verstappen.
“Of course, there are not many drivers in the paddock who would like to be Max’s team-mate. Lewis Hamilton can talk about it, but it won’t happen.”