Red Bull believes its RB14 F1 chassis is 'absolutely ahead' of rivals

Red Bull believes its RB14 chassis is "absolutely ahead" of its Formula 1 rivals this year, but it does not expect that to be enough to sustain a season-long challenge

Red Bull believes its RB14 F1 chassis is 'absolutely ahead' of rivals

The team made a slow start in 2017 after windtunnel problems left it on the back foot, but it believes GPS data from pre-season testing this year shows it has a car team principal Christian Horner says does not "give anything away in the corners".

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko told Autosport: "We know that our chassis is absolutely ahead on the GPS data and so on.

"There's a problem with the engine. It is difficult to even begin to achieve the excellent Mercedes performance that has been delivered."

Horner says that the team can be optimistic heading into the start of the season, but he believes Red Bull's engine deficit to Mercedes and Ferrari will prevent it from sustaining a season-long challenge.

Can Red Bull be F1's saviour?

"It is difficult to draw too many conclusions but I don't think we give anything away in any of the corners we looked at in Barcelona," said Horner in an exclusive interview.

"And if you went out and had a look on circuit, it was evident that the car looks well poised.

"There is a real optimism about this car. It responds well. It is giving the drivers good feedback and it is a great starting point as we go into the season.

"We know where our deficiencies are to our opponents, and we just have to compensate in other areas."

Engine supplier Renault has already made clear that its focus at the start of the season will be on reliability even if that means sacrificing some performance.

When asked if he believed the chassis could overcome any power deficit, Horner said: "Over a season I don't think so.

"But there will be some circuits where we will be stronger than others.

"Our focus is on dealing with the bits that we can control, maximising our own performance, our own reliability, and grabbing opportunities when they present themselves."

Horner thinks it may not be until the Spanish GP, when Renault could choose to introduce its second power unit of the year, that the team may be in a position to get on even terms with Mercedes and Ferrari.

"The first three or four races are all very power sensitive tracks and they are going to be pretty tough for us," he said.

"It is probably not until we get back into Europe and whatever they have with engine two, that one would hope the gap will diminish.

"China/Bahrain/Australia, they are all quite big engine circuits, so we are really reliant on our colleagues in Viry coming up with something."

shares
comments
F1 drivers say third DRS zone will improve Australian Grand Prix

Previous article

F1 drivers say third DRS zone will improve Australian Grand Prix

Next article

Ecclestone: Liberty musn't ignore Mercedes/Ferrari breakaway threat

Ecclestone: Liberty musn't ignore Mercedes/Ferrari breakaway threat
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Red Bull Racing
Author Jonathan Noble
The AlphaTauri improvements that mean Gasly’s form is no fluke Plus

The AlphaTauri improvements that mean Gasly’s form is no fluke

Pierre Gasly has driven superbly since demotion from Red Bull in 2019, but the team formerly known as Toro Rosso has come on strong too – building a car that can often challenge Ferrari and McLaren. Here Gasly reveals to ALEX KALINAUCKAS how AlphaTauri has given him the tools needed to rebuild his reputation

Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish” Plus

Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish”

We’ve seen five distinct versions of Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes as he’s tried to fulfil his own ambitions while being a consummate team player – two difficult, competing missions which have been challenging to reconcile. Speaking exclusively to STUART CODLING, Bottas explains his highs and lows… and why he still believes he can be world champion

Formula 1
May 15, 2021
Does Aston have a case in F1 2021’s big technical row? Plus

Does Aston have a case in F1 2021’s big technical row?

Aston Martin claims Formula 1’s latest technical tweaks have cost it competitiveness – and that it’s the innocent victim of a regulatory stitch-up aimed at pegging back Mercedes. But is any of this actually true? It depends on who you ask, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
May 14, 2021
How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean? Plus

How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But is their rivalry destined to end in broken shards of carbon fibre?

Formula 1
May 13, 2021
What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight Plus

What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight

OPINION: Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have recovered from their pre-season woes to take three wins from the opening four races of 2021. But each time Red Bull and Max Verstappen have pushed them hard. So, what clues did the latest round of that battle – the Spanish Grand Prix – tease about the next stage of the season?

Formula 1
May 12, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Plus

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Plus

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button

Formula 1
May 10, 2021