Red Bull says Honda giving it 'party mode' for first time

Red Bull believes it will be able to celebrate a Formula 1 engine 'party mode' for the first time thanks to its new-for-2019 partner Honda.

Red Bull says Honda giving it 'party mode' for first time

After all-but-one of its 14 seasons with Renault power, Red Bull has switched to Honda for this season after ending an increasingly acrimonious relationship with its title-winning former partner.

Red Bull has talked up Honda since inking a two-year deal in the middle of 2018, declaring it had surpassed Renault before the end of the season.

The team's motorsport advisor Dr Helmut Marko believes planned gains for 2019 should put Red Bull in the "region" of F1's current benchmarks Mercedes and Ferrari, and have triggered "a real euphoria" and "a sense of optimism" within the team.

"The figures make us really optimistic, also with regard to the increase in performance," Marko told Motorsport.com.

"For the first time we can also celebrate with a 'party mode'!

"The Honda engine is already slightly above the Renault engine. If you combine our GPS data with the data provided by Honda, we'll be in the Mercedes and Ferrari region.

"Of course they're not sleeping either. But they are already at such a high level that they can no longer make such jumps.

"Even if we should be 10 or 15 kW behind, that was no different in our Renault era with the eight-cylinder engine. We can make up for that."

Christian Horner, Red Bull team boss, said at the end of 2018 that "an extra 40kW" could have changed the complexion of the season.

Red Bull won four grands prix last year but also suffered from ongoing reliability problems and Renault admitted it had not made the progress it expected in performance terms.

By contrast, Honda had a strong rebuilding season after ending three disastrous years with McLaren to partner Red Bull's junior team Toro Rosso.

It had its own minor reliability setbacks but was buoyed by its reliability and performance developments, although Marko anticipates Red Bull will not have a seamless first season with Honda.

"We are aware that it will probably be difficult with reliability," said Marko. "Most probably we won't be able to get through the season on three engines.

"But if you choose the right tracks, you can be back at the top in a few laps.That will be the concept, that we consciously accept engine penalties if necessary."

Marko also said Red Bull had been "portrayed as the big whiners" at time with Renault but insisted the figures speak for themselves.

"We were in the B category right from the start," he said. "We lacked up to 70bhp in qualifying.

"Depending on the race track it became less, but on average we were always at least 40bhp behind.

"Our GPS data clearly shows how much we lose on the straights and how much we win in the corners. When the Ferrari power was at its peak, the difference was even more extreme."

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB14, leads Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso STR13

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB14, leads Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso STR13

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / LAT Images

shares
comments
IMS Hall of Fame reveals four nominees for 2019

Previous article

IMS Hall of Fame reveals four nominees for 2019

Next article

Sainz hopes McLaren will "remember" how to win

Sainz hopes McLaren will "remember" how to win
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Red Bull Racing
Author Scott Mitchell
How F1's street track return can offer Verstappen redemption Prime

How F1's street track return can offer Verstappen redemption

Red Bull has failed to capitalise on having the best car in the opening rounds. BEN EDWARDS thinks change is around the corner.

The AlphaTauri improvements that mean Gasly’s form is no fluke Prime

The AlphaTauri improvements that mean Gasly’s form is no fluke

Pierre Gasly has driven superbly since demotion from Red Bull in 2019, but the team formerly known as Toro Rosso has come on strong too – building a car that can often challenge Ferrari and McLaren. Here Gasly reveals to ALEX KALINAUCKAS how AlphaTauri has given him the tools needed to rebuild his reputation

Formula 1
May 17, 2021
Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish” Prime

Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish”

We’ve seen five distinct versions of Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes as he’s tried to fulfil his own ambitions while being a consummate team player – two difficult, competing missions which have been challenging to reconcile. Speaking exclusively to Stuart Codling, Bottas explains his highs and lows… and why he still believes he can be world champion.

Formula 1
May 15, 2021
How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean? Prime

How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But how long will their battle remain clean? Jonathan Noble ponders that exact point

Formula 1
May 13, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Prime

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Prime

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button.

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Prime

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021