To have any chance of winning the world championship this year, Red Bull must start the Formula 1 season strongly. It threw away 2017 with both its initial performance and its poor later-season reliability problems, but on the positive side proved it has the infrastructure to overcome these problems. The trouble is, the others don't sit around and wait.
Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen are both ready to put up a championship challenge, but they need the tools to do the job. With Renault suggesting last year it will not be supplying Red Bull with power units in 2019, this might be their last opportunity for a while.
While he was tinkering with various other projects this time last season, I'm pretty sure technical chief Adrian Newey will have been fully focused on Red Bull's 2018 car right from the get-go. We expected a lot from one of the most highly rated aerodynamicists for the start of 2017 but it wasn't there. So will '18 reverse that situation? Let's have a look.