Red Bull retains faith in concept of 2017 F1 car

Red Bull insists it has not got the concept of its 2017 Formula 1 car wrong – despite lagging behind main rivals Ferrari and Mercedes.

Red Bull retains faith in concept of 2017 F1 car
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13, leads Daniil Kvyat, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB13
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB13, leads Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H, and Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB13
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB13

The Milton Keynes-based team opted against a complicated design for its RB13, and instead went for a more simplistic low-drag solution that makes it quick in a straight line.

However, its early season form has not been as strong as the high downforce Mercedes and Ferrari – and in China on Sunday it finished 45-seconds adrift of race-winner Lewis Hamilton.

Having gone in to that season as the team many expected to take the fight to Mercedes, its form is a surprise.

But team principal Christian Horner still has faith that the approach of its design will pay off eventually.

"I think the philosophy that we have pursued and adopted is slightly different to the competitors and we still believe in the potential of that," he said, when asked by Motorsport.com about what's gone wrong this season.

"I don't think we have managed to extract the performance that we believe the car is capable of yet, and the development path should allow to open up.

"So hats off to Mercedes and Ferrari. They have both come up with very strong cars, but I am confident we can hopefully get into that fight a bit later in the season."

Red Bull's form is not helped by its engine partner Renault playing catch up in the power stakes, but power unit updates planned around the time of the Canadian Grand Prix should help on that front.

Horner suggests that it will not be until the middle of the year that Red Bull itself can expect to be joining the fight right at the front.

"I think it is going to take probably to mid-season," he said. "I think hopefully the second half of our season will be a lot more competitive than the first half of our year."

He added: "Our focus is taking it race by race. We are not looking too hard at championship tables at this point of time.

"It is more, how do we reduce that gap and how quickly can we do it? It is clear that Lewis [Hamilton] and Seb [Vettel] are in the quickest packages at the moment and obviously we want to join that party as quickly as we can."

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