Max Verstappen is confident that Red Bull are in a much stronger position heading into this season, as the RB16B looks to close the gap to the formidable W12 of Mercedes.
The Honda-powered team have made a near-perfect start to F1 testing, topping the timesheet in multiple sessions. Their car's speed and consistency hasn't gone unnoticed by Verstappen, who thinks Red Bull are well positioned heading into the 2021 season.
"From the start, compared to last year, it feels better," the Dutchman told RacingNews365.com and other members of the media.
"But I think we also improved our car a lot better at the beginning of last year, even throughout the season, last year."
However, despite his optimism, the 23-year-old is quick to not write off Mercedes just yet, who have endured a tricky start to 2021 testing.
The Brackley outfit have been hampered by gearbox issue and a skittish rear end, but they will still arrive at the favorites for the world title - according to Verstappen.
"Well, I don't think we are the favorites if Mercedes wins that many championships. I think it's still the same as before we came to the tests", the Red Bull driver concludes.
While reliability issues will certainly give hope to the likes of Red Bull and Ferrari this season, its also important to note that Valtteri Bottas finished top of the timesheet in the second session of Day Two testing.