Ferrari quickest, McLaren at the back according to Helmut Marko

Red Bull's Helmut Marko has made a bold prediction following the conclusion of Formula 1 testing. The Austrian believes what many predict, that Ferrari are quickest heading to the first race in Australia, but reckons Red Bull slot in behind, ahead of reigning champions Mercedes.

The common prediction is that Ferrari and Mercedes are evenly matched, with the Italian marque possibly holding a small advantage, with Red Bull and Renault holding third and fourth, but Marko reckons Red Bull have moved ahead of Mercedes in the pecking order.

"Ferrari is ahead, then we come in front of Mercedes," he told Austrian publication SpeedWeek.

Red Bull has made the jump to Honda power for the 2019 season, a move which many predict could actually see the team fall back into the grasps of Renault, though Marko doesn't believe that will be the case after enjoying "absolute reliability" with the new Honda power unit, predicting "at least five victories".

Looking further back, the Austrian doesn't expect much to change at the back with McLaren and Williams bringing up the rear, despite McLaren's stronger showing over the course of the eight days.

"Then there is the big midfield, where it will be very tight [with] McLaren and Williams at the back," he added.

His prediction for champion is an even bolder claim, simply responding "Max Verstappen".