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Red Bull says Renault key to next step in its Formula 1 recovery

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Australian GP 2014, Melbourne

Red Bull believes it can make a massive step forward in form once engine partner Renault gets on top of its ongoing problems in Formula 1.

After an encouraging weekend in Australia in terms of performance, with Daniel Ricciardo finishing a surprise second before being disqualified, Red Bull has faith that rapid progress is just around the corner.

For although there is an engine freeze in place, team principal Christian Horner thinks that areas that can be worked on are actually where the big steps forward can be made.

"Ninety per cent of the issues are software related, depending on how the ERS is working with the combustion engine," said Horner. "So there is a lot of scope to improve.

"When we are tremendously restricted in terms of the driveability of the car, in terms of how the torque is delivered, that obviously affects straightline speed.

"There is room for an awful lot of improvement. It is working between the engineers in Milton Keynes and Viry [Renault Sport's base] to make sure we get the most out of it."

Horner is under no illusions, however, about the advantage that Mercedes currently has.

"I would say on average it is about one second per lap, so that is about what we have to find," he said.

"They controlled the race. I am sure they didn't fully extend themselves and it seems they have at least one second in the pocket at the moment.

"You can see Williams looks very quick too, and I think if they had had a clean race they would have been right there."

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