Red Bull says it had its best ever pre-season Formula 1 test, amid its encouraging start with new engine partner Honda
Although the team admits that Ferrari appears to have the edge overall at the moment, Red Bull's motorsport advisor Helmut Marko said that it had never been more encouraged about progress at this stage in winter testing.
"So far if I talk about Red Bull and Toro Rosso, we had a very good time," Marko told Sky.
"I would say we never had such good preparation for the season. For both teams."
While Red Bull was always convinced that Honda could provide enough power, Marko said the big question mark had been reliability.
With both Red Bull teams running without major trouble, Marko said those worries had been eased.
"It's a new period. We don't look back. We look forward," he said. "It's a very good relationship.
"The concern was of course reliability and so far that's not a problem at all. It's a new culture as well. But it fits well with our people."
Marko agreed with suggestions Ferrari had emerged as the early favourite, but he reckoned Red Bull was in the mix and could win races with Honda in 2019.
"What I saw yesterday on the circuit, Ferrari for sure at the moment is the fastest car. Behind that it's Red Bull and Mercedes. Let's see what can do until Melbourne," he said.
"But we are quite optimistic that this year we can win races from our own strength, and not only if others have trouble or at special circuits like Monte Carlo or Singapore."
After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…
Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?
For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak
The longer Red Bull can maintain a performance edge over Mercedes, the better the odds will be in the team’s favour against the defending world champions. But as the Bahrain Grand Prix showed, many more factors will be critical in the outcome of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship
Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle
Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.