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Horner: 40kW of extra power was needed for Red Bull title challenge

  • Published on 11 Dec 2018 09:03
  • comments 5
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says that the team needed 40kW of more power to take a title challenge to Mercedes and Ferrari in 2018. The energy drink squad finished the season in third place for the second consecutive year.

Both Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen won two races each over the course of the campaign, but didn't have the equipment to boast a title challenge. Red Bull will switch to Honda power units in 2019, ending its long-standing relationship with Renault.

The relationship between Red Bull and Renault has been strained in recent years, with the latter failing to produce an engine capable of competing against Mercedes, and in the last couple of seasons, Ferrari.

"It’s always easy to say ifs, buts and maybes. If there would have been another 40kW in the back of the car then the season could have looked quite different,” Horner said.

“Hats off to everyone at Milton Keynes to arguably producing one of our best ever chassis. If you look at the other users with the same engine [Renault and McLaren], there’s a world of difference.”

Horner was asked what he thinks would happen if F1's four engine suppliers started 2019 the way they ended 2018, to which he replied: "I think we will certainly be a lot closer. What we see and hear in the pipeline as well. Pieces of paper are one thing, the stopwatch ultimately never lies.”

Unreliability was a major block in Red Bull's 2018 season, as Ricciardo and Verstappen were plagued with engine issues throughout the year. While Honda has made improvements pace-wise, it hasn't completely cleared up its reliability concerns.

“Reliability isn’t something we’ve had,” Horner acknowledged. "We’ve had 11 or 12 retirements this year - that’s our biggest Achilles heel. If we can achieve the power and reliability. Lewis had one DNF this year, likewise with Sebastian. That’s the rate we have to be aiming to achieve.”

Replies (5)

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  • Capt'n here, 40 kw should be about 54 hp. I dunno... Dont that dound a bit excessive? Honda and Rensult were no doubt behind, but surely it wasnt 50+ hp behind.

    • + 0
    • Dec 11 2018 - 12:04
  • boudy

    Posts: 1,168

    I think thats from season end Honda pu performance. They will calculate what they were behind plus the guessed additional power gain.

    • + 0
    • Dec 11 2018 - 14:47
  • If they get 1HP for every time they blame Renault and talk up their chances with Honda... They will be reaching 1100HP by March

    • + 0
    • Dec 11 2018 - 15:53
    • boudy

      Posts: 1,168

      I think that their point about the RENAULT engine was the weakest engine in F1 is correct. Every year the same story about gaining on Mercedes and Ferrari and every year coming short of this promise.

      However going positive into a new PU relationship is always going to be a better place to start. When Horner mentioned the reliability issue he included Redbull themselves in this.

      Honda has got a lot to proof and not a lot of time left.

      • + 0
      • Dec 11 2018 - 17:28
    • Hehehe, 1 dream= 1 hp. Kip driming, Hondafrekz. XD And I will, believe me I will dream until my work mates will register me as MIA! ;)

      I would like it if RB were a bit less vocal at this stage, yet, as I've said before, I have more faith in Honda pulling through than Renault. The fact that they now take IHI's help will hopefully only help their cause.

      • + 0
      • Dec 11 2018 - 18:39

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