Red Bull Racing’s dominance within the sport was thwarted by the introduction of the V6 engine back in 2014. Two race wins last season shone a glimmer of hope, but the Renault engine still left a lot to be desired.
Despite being the only team to ruin Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team’s straight run, Helmut Marko believes their power unit is still trailing behind Scuderia Ferrari’s, but that might be about to change.
The scrapping of the token development system for 2017 means manufacturers can tinker and update their engines as and when they wish. And Marko is optimistic that Red Bull will be on par with Ferrari by the first European stop in Spain, when an update is due.
“The signs are encouraging, the deficit is gradually reducing,” he said.
“We should be well positioned by Europe. We should be on Ferrari’s level, unless they make a big leap again. On Mercedes’ level? We are not quite that good, but the gap is no longer so clear that you have no chance.”
Mercedes is known for utilising additional horsepower during qualifying. When asked if Renault were considering a similar setting, Marko replied that “it is not yet clear, but I do not think it will be as pronounced as with Mercedes.”