Dr Helmut Marko has told Red Bull there are "no excuses" why the world championship cannot be the goal in 2019.
Actually, while optimistic, top driver Max Verstappen is also cautious.
"I don't think we will be the strongest at least early in the season, but we need to be as good as possible for when we are stronger later on," said the Dutchman.
The rhetoric from Dr Marko, a top Red Bull official, is different.
"We want to crown the youngest world champion in history," he said, referring to Verstappen. "I have told the team that there are no excuses."
Marko said Red Bull's 2019 engine partner, Honda, is "already ahead of Renault", the team's current supplier.
Giving that situation an even bigger boost is Toro Rosso, who are constantly taking engine penalties so that Honda can prepare for 2019.
"Toro Rosso are sacrificing their season for the big one in 2019," Marko is quoted by RTL. "That is our tactic to get the most out of next year."