Red Bull 'very satisfied' with Honda progress during 2019

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Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has praised Honda as he outlined their planned upgrades for this season.

There was a lot of predictions at the start of the year as to how the new partnership would play out and results have been solid if not spectacular.

Max Verstappen has finished between third and fifth at the first seven races as Red Bull capitalise on Ferrari's issues, however, the team has yet to really threaten Mercedes for a victory so far in 2019.

After years of issues and poor reliability though, it has been notable how strong Honda has been in this area.

"We are very satisfied with the reliability of Honda," Marko told Speed Week. "The test bench in Japan runs day and night."

A first upgrade in Baku was aimed primarily at improving durability with the focus now switching to performance for the rest of the year.

"We are still a bit behind in terms of power, but we are getting a new engine in Paul Ricard," the Red Bull chief confirmed.

"However, that is not the biggest step. It will be in Monza. They will do everything they can to close the gap at Honda."

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And speaking last weekend in Canada, Verstappen claimed his team only needed small improvements across their package to be more competitive with the top two.

"If you can get a bit more power, a bit more balance in the car, then suddenly it looks a lot different," he said.

"In Monaco, we were the second-best team.

"I knew (Montreal) was not going to be great. Last year, we were quite competitive but I think back then our car was quite a lot better than the Mercedes and Ferrari and now I wouldn't say we are superior to them."