Red Bull Principal Christian Horner believes the majority of the team’s problems so far this year will be solved when the issues with Renault’s power units are resolved
Despite struggling in preseason, Red Bull were encouraged in Australia last week when Daniel Ricciardo surprised the paddock to finish second before being excluded from the race.
The Australian finished almost 25 seconds behind winner Nico Rosberg, though, a margin that would have been bigger had a safety car not bunched up the pack just before the first round of pit stops.
While Horner remains optimistic of Red Bull’s chances in 2014, he admitted that the Mercedes engine is far more powerful than its Renault counterpart.
“Based on the fact that we’re giving away about a second a lap on the straights, I’ll let you conclude…” Horner is quoted by crash.net when asked if engine power was the main reason for their 2014 woes.
“I would say on average it’s about a second a lap, so that’s about what we have to find.
“You can see Williams looks very quick too, and I think if they had had a clean race they would have been right there.”
Although an engine freeze is currently in place, Horner is confident that there are plenty of areas that the team can work on before the Malaysian Grand Prix next week.
“Ninety per cent of the issues are software related, depending on how the ERS is working with the combustion engine,” Horner added.
“So there is a lot of scope to improve.
“When we are tremendously restricted in terms of the driveability of the car, in terms of how the torque is delivered, that obviously affects straightline speed.
“There is room for an awful lot of improvement. It is working between the engineers in Milton Keynes and Viry [Renault Sport’s base] to make sure we get the most out of it.”