[F1 2018 VIDEO FEATURE] RED BULL RACING: STILL PUSHING

Red Bull Racing team boss Christian Horner has refused to write off 2018, despite the squad proving again unable to consistently challenge F1’s top teams on pure pace, and reliability issues increasingly prevalent.

Singapore was expected to be an exception to the rule…but Max Verstappen’s maximum was second place, while Daniel Ricciardo languished down in sixth, unable to make any progress from his slot on the grid.

The points finish was a boost for Ricciardo, though, after he suffered four retirements in six races, making it a disappointing half dozen DNFs for the season – equal to his 2017 DNF total, a woeful result.

One below the standard that Horner expected from Renault back in June when he announced Red Bull would switch to Honda from 2019.

SOUNDBITE (English) CHRISTIAN HORNER,
TEAM PRINCIPAL, RED BULL RACING:
“There’s a long way to go. So we’re going to be pushing all the way to the finish and going to be relying on support from Renault until the end of the year, which I am sure they will give unwaveringly, as they have done during our previous 11 seasons.”

The squad is, though, running Renault’s C-spec engine - which was installed in both cars at Monza. And while it brings more performance, reckoned to be worth around three tenths of a second per lap as the basis for the marque’s 2019 version… 

… it comes with reliability risks, high enough for Renault’s works team to decline its use – given its battle for fourth in the constructors’ with Haas.

Looking ahead, the team should again be competitive in Mexico, with the chance to steal top results in Japan and Brazil should the conditions and strategy work in Red Bull’s favour.

But with the team safely third in the constructors’ – and 2019 bringing lots of change including a new driver in Pierre Gasly and new power unit from Honda... switching focus to 2019 soon is a no-brainer… 

Especially with front-running likely out of the question, at least in year one, despite Horner’s bullish attitude.

SOUNDBITE (English) CHRISTIAN HORNER,
TEAM PRINCIPAL, RED BULL RACING:
“We are confident that Honda have the right infrastructure, the right resources, the right technical capacity and determination to help us in our quest to reduce the gap to the teams ahead of us in Ferrari and Mercedes.”