|Honda F1 engine|
(GMM) Dr Helmut Marko remains convinced that Red Bull can win the 2019 world championship.
In Australia, Mercedes dominated the season opener but it was Max Verstappen, rather than either of the Ferraris, who shared the podium with the silver-clad drivers.
"I think we will fight for the world championship this year," Marko told Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport.
"We have the best young driver of the moment in Verstappen, and a good car with a powerful and reliable engine.
"They all said I was stupid for signing with Honda, but as usual I ended up being right," Marko said.
"For example, thanks to the professionalism of the Japanese, we were able to replace Verstappen's chassis in Australia without issue.
"These days we talk with Honda about designing the best possible car, while before we had to wait for the engine and adapt ourselves to them," Marko added.
Red Bull was clearly behind Mercedes in Australia, but Marko is confident the team will catch up with Honda's help.
"We are hoping for an evolution of the Honda engine soon, and we believe that, throughout the year, we will get to the level of Mercedes and Ferrari," said Marko.
But he says the basic package for 2019 is already good.
"We have not started with such a strong car for years," said Marko. "Gasly could have finished in front of Vettel if it wasn't for qualifying."