Red Bull’s competitiveness at recent grands prix show that they have plenty to be upbeat about ahead of the 2020 season, especially with no major rule changes next year, according to team boss Christian Horner.
After switching to Honda engines at the start of the year, it took the two parties a while to find their way, but it eventually clicked in Austria and Germany as Max Verstappen won those races just before the summer break.
Although Red Bull not replicated that during the second half of the campaign so far, there have been plenty of positives for the team with Verstappen setting the fastest qualifying time Mexico only to lose pole position due to an infringement.
With the regulations remaining largely unchanged for 2020, Horner says whatever they learn in the remainder of 2019 they will carry forward to next year.
“I think in Mexico we had a really competitive car and that was a missed opportunity for us following the first lap incident, but the car performed well (in Austin) — and it was windy, which again highlights the progress we have made,” he told Racer.com.
“That would have badly affected us at the beginning of the year and we’ve been competitive throughout the weekend, so had it not been for a little lock-up at Turn 1, arguably we could have achieved the pole — we were only 0.05s off.
“Generally the car has been competitive in every session and a competitive third place as well. Alex’s (Albon) recovery as well highlighted again our competitiveness.
“Suzuka we never got to see what the car was really capable of with Max being eliminated early on. I suspect Suzuka could have been similar to (Austin) — it’s a similar type of circuit. Singapore we recognise where we made a mistake, obviously we lost out to the Ferraris that day and beat a Mercedes but felt we left a bit on the table.
“I think the car is genuinely performing pretty well over the last few races and I think the encouraging thing for us, with stability of the rules over the winter, if there’s anything that we learn this year we carry into RB16.”