Red Bull Racing‘s Helmut Marko says his team would have likely beaten rivals Scuderia Ferrari in the Constructors Championship were it not for the reliability issues caused by their engines.
Red Bull’s Renault engines were decidedly more unreliable than their Ferrari counterparts’, and contributed towards the team failing to finish thirteen times over the twenty races last season. This put the team on the back foot from the start, Marko told Formula1.com, and whilst he says Red Bull started the season with a “non-competitive” chassis, it was the engines that cost them.
“The start of the season was not good. We had correlation problems that had forced us to start the season with a non-competitive chassis. We were able to change that at the start of the European season in Barcelona – and from Budapest onwards I would say that we had the competitive chassis we had in mind. I would even go so far as to say that sometimes we had an outstanding chassis!
“Engine-wise – and this was no secret – we had a lot of reliability problems, which hindered the engine manufacturer in further power developments.
“On the circumstances – or let’s say luck – we had more than ten DNF’s. Picture this! This outstanding record speaks for itself. Without that we would have been significantly further up in both championships – P2 would very likely have been ours.”
Red Bull sister team Scuderia Toro Rosso had a very mixed season, seeing engine issues and four drivers in their two cars – leading to them finish the season with different drivers than they started with. Despite this they managed to finish the season in seventh place in the Constructors’ Championship, matching their result from the previous season, though Marko believes next season should be better.
“Toro Rosso started reasonably. Then they ran into unbelievable reliability problems – unbelievable! Also in terms of the car development, it was not what it should have been. Now they are focused on next year and their cooperation with Honda. Since the announcement all their efforts have been going into that.
“The drivers? All the drivers the team started the season with were gone at the end!
“[Carlos] Sainz Jr. is loaned to Renault; [Daniil] Kvyat is gone, so Toro Rosso had to restart in midseason with two blank pages. I think for the circumstances [Pierre] Gasly and [Brendon] Hartley did really well. And the good news is that Brendon doesn’t have to switch anymore between Porsche and F1, so I am sure for next season Toro Rosso has a very promising driver line-up.”