If the Renault engine upgrade being trialled by the Red Bull Racing team during the two day test session in Circuit de Catalunya this week proves successful, then the Milton Keynes based squad see no problem in introducing the new specification engine as early as the Monaco Grand Prix, should Renault wish to move the date forward.
The initial plan had been for the French manufacturer to introduce the new Power Unit at the Canadian Grand Prix, which takes place in around a month’s time. However, following their first win of the season at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday, Red Bull are buoyed by the impressive performance shown by both of their cars when pitted against the Scuderia Ferrari machines in Barcelona, and are eager now to challenge their rivals on a more regular basis.
Team Principal Christian Horner has confirmed to motorsport.com that he would approve of a quicker release date, if it meant the Austrian owned team could gain a further performance boost in Monaco.
“Let’s see how the test goes but if there was any opportunity to be even more competitive in Monaco, of course we would take it. But that’s the decision for the guys from Renault, it’s not our decision. We’ll obviously do the testing and then they will look at the numbers.
“We thought Monaco was our best chance of taking a victory this year. We’ve capitalised on a day [in Spain] where Mercedes have obviously got themselves into trouble, but Monte Carlo should be a track that suits our strengths more than some of the circuits we have been to so far this season.”
As a track that does not rely heavily on power, the Monte Carlo street circuit should suit the characteristics of the RB12 to a tee, and if an engine upgrade means Red Bull can take the fight to the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS squad as well as Ferrari, then they will gladly jump at the chance to take it.
Daniel Ricciardo was behind the wheel of the RB12 during the morning session on today (Tuesday) in Barcelona, however the Australian spent most of the early running in the pits, before posting a timed lap good enough to put him fifth in the order at lunch.