Helmut Marko is hopeful that the Renault engine upgrade, slated for delivery at the Canadian Grand Prix, will do enough to bridge the performance gap between Red Bull Racing and Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team.
Red Bull suffered a stop-start pre-season testing as they suffered from a number of issues, and the opening weekend at the Australian Grand Prix proved far from ideal as Daniel Ricciardo failed to finish the race and Max Verstappen failed to stay with the leading pack.
The team is expecting an engine update at the Spanish Grand Prix in May before receiving an even greater upgrade in Montreal one month later, but Marko is vocal in his opinion that the RB13 is in need of further development itself.
“There’s a lot of work to do,” he told Motorsport.com. “The race speed makes us think positively. But from our side there is a lot to do, and Renault’s side as well.
“Montreal is their biggest step. Something smaller is coming in Barcelona, but a reasonable step in Montreal.”
When asked if the engine upgrade would be enough to bridge the gap, he replied, “We hope so, if we improve our chassis dramatically as well. Our engineers think so, and the simulations say so, also.”
Marko also conceded that he had expected the change in regulations to produce a greater variance in lap-times.
“I think it was a positive race, but I was so fixed on Verstappen that I didn’t look at many other things” he added. “But we were only two seconds faster, and that was a little bit of a disappointment.”