Former F1 world champion Mika Hakkinen believes Red Bull Racing may come to regret their switch to Honda power.
Red Bull ditched Renault at the end of the 2018 season to take up a contract with the Japanese manufacturer.
The Austrian team is hopeful of challenging Ferrari and Mercedes for major honours in the 2019 F1 season – which gets underway this coming weekend in Australia – but Hakkinen is not as optimistic.
He told Unibet’s Inside Formula One: “First I was thinking it’s not going to work out, it’s not going to go so well. I had a big doubt there.
“But they do have a full factory support from Honda and that brings a lot of confidence to get the success.
“Honda had a long, really hard learning curve in Formula 1 and had really tough years with McLaren. They had a hard road.
“I think now they are in a position that they can start bringing in the performance.
“But I really don’t think they’re still in a level on the performance with Ferrari or Mercedes in power terms.
“If you don’t have that, if you have less horsepower in a straight line, it’s difficult to overtake other cars. That’s a fact.
“I still don’t believe they are on a level [in] power.”
The Finn added that Red Bull may even come to regret walking away from the French marque: “Looking at the Renault, they are going for it.
“Looking at the test results and what they have done, the engine performance, what they are delivering, I think they are really strong.
“Red Bull, did they make the right decision? They left Renault behind but now they’re going for it.
“What is right, what is wrong? It’s really interesting.”