Red Bull have struggled often in the first half of each F1 season, as they are slightly off the pace prior to the start of the development race, in which they have a tendency to catch up. In 2020, however, the team’s principal Horner, hopes to be competitive out of the gate.
The Red Bull chief also believes that the stable regulatory conditions heading into the first season of the new decade will play into the hands of the Anglo-Austrian team. “Firstly, I think, if you look at 2018, that wasn’t the case [of a slow start],” said Horner. “And I think the key that we have going into next year is we have stability of regulations.
“So, theoretically, the car that you see in three months will be an upgrade of the cars that are here. It would be very unusual for any team to completely abandon a concept, and it feels like we’re on the right trajectory.
“Unless we miss something, hopefully we can be competitive from the start of next season. Also, generally, I think we’ve developed the car well in 2019. Honda have done a great job with each introduction on the power unit.
“But we know there’s still a gap to close to Mercedes and we have to keep pushing.” Even having had as slower start in 2019, Horner was happy with the team’s efforts, particularly on the front of Honda, who reliably continued to deliver adequate power units.
“The relationship with Honda has been fantastic, the reliability, the performance increased with each engine, it’s been, very much a highlight,” said Horner. “It’s been a transitionary year for the team. It is the first engine change we’ve had in 13 years.
“And as I said, the partnership with Honda has worked tremendously well, from the first race, the podium in Melbourne. You know, with each engine has been introduced, we’re getting better and better. Reliability has been been strong.
“We’ve only had one mechanical DNF this year, in Azerbaijan, and with each engine introduction, we’ve got closer and closer to the pace. The three pole positions, albeit we only kept two of them, three victories.
“Nine podiums is a really impressive performance this year. This really has been beyond expectation and in many respects the relationship with Honda has been fantastic, the reliability, the performance increased with each engine. It’s been very much a highlight.”
[This story was written by me for FormulaRapida, and edited by Darshan Chokhani]