Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says that the team is looking forward to switching to Honda power next season after its struggles at the Belgian Grand Prix. The energy drink squad will depart from Renault at the end of the year, ending its long-term relationship with the French manufacturer.
Max Verstappen claimed a podium at Sunday's race around Spa-Francorchamps but finished half a minute behind race winner Sebastian Vettel. Earlier this year, Red Bull confirmed it would be switching to Honda power for 2019.
This season, Honda has been running with Toro Rosso, Red Bull's junior team. And Horner says that you have to look no further than the results to show that Red Bull and Honda are capable of a successful partnership.
"We need to make a step," he said. "You can see the gap [to Mercedes and Ferrari] is significant. Honda are making great progress. They are scoring points regularly and you can see they are making headway."
Next weekend, Monza will host the Italian Grand Prix with the legendary track notoriously power-sensitive. Red Bull is expecting to struggle once again and Horner confirmed that Ricciardo will be taking an engine related grid penalty next Sunday in order to optimise his chances for Singapore.
"We will try and get ourselves on the best footing," said Horner. "Daniel Ricciardo will be taking an engine penalty next weekend and Max will be taking his third unit there, hopefully without penalty. We will be trying to get ourselves in the best position we can going to Singapore which is probably our next big hope of challenging Ferrari and Mercedes."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing