Horner: ‘Concertinaing’ in engine war

Date published: April 25 2019

Christian Horner predicts 'concertinaring' in engine war

Ahead of Honda’s Baku upgrade, Christian Horner says he hopes Red Bull can close the gap to Mercedes and Ferrari by the midseason.

Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly will both race Honda’s Spec 2 engine at this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix with Toro Rosso also expected to take the update.

While Honda’s main aim with the new engine is improved reliability, the Japanese manufacturer believes it will also bring a “slight improvement in performance.”

“I think (Honda) are making progress with it,” Horner told Racer. “There is stuff in the pipeline that will certainly help but the others aren’t standing still.

“It is all about evolution.

“Our goal this year has been all about closing the gap to Mercedes and Ferrari and we are doing that.

“(In China) we split the Ferraris, we are certainly closer on pace to Mercedes.

“There will be more ‘concertinaing’ that will happen between now and the halfway point of the year.”

The team boss, though, is adamant he won’t be setting a goal for race wins or even podiums as this is Red Bull’s first season with Honda power, and there is still some way to go towards closing the gap.

“I think doing that is a waste of time,” he said of setting targets.

“My view has always been you look at what is the quickest car and you look at what is the quickest way we can get there, and that varies from race to race.

“It was Ferrari in Bahrain and it was Mercedes (in China) and obviously everyone is working as hard as they can to close that gap.

“To say it is by this race or this race, history dictates it is a fallacy.”

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