Red Bull motorsport advisor, Dr Helmut Marko, has said the team’s focus has switched to 2019 after falling behind Mercedes and Ferrari.
Red Bull have won three races so far in the 2018 season, but have failed to make any lasting impression on their rivals above and have had to settle for their familiar third spot in the World Constructors’ Championship.
The Milton Keynes-based team are 183 points clear of fourth-placed Renault heading into the Russian Grand Prix, but a whopping 141 points behind second-placed Ferrari and 178 points adrift of leaders Mercedes.
“The euphoria has given way to reality,” Marko told Kronen Zeitung newspaper. “We have fallen behind Mercedes and Ferrari.
“We want to end the year as well as possible, but our focus is clearly on 2019.
“We are seeing an extreme commitment and great energy from the Honda side,” he said. “And our side as well, of course.
“After Singapore, some of our leading people flew to Tokyo where the exchange of ideas is intensifying. It’s the first time Red Bull has had an engine manufacturer behind us.
Marko also thinks the logistics of the Red Bull-Honda deal will stand them in better stead compared to staying with Renault power.
“Honda’s headquarters is 15 minutes from us. In the past, we were just waiting to see what Renault’s plan was but now everything is focused on us,” Marko explained.
“We have good numbers from the factory so far and Honda is enjoying the benefit of insight from four cars. The (2019) car will be ready on time.
“We want to be competitive right from the start and drive for victories. Whether it’s enough for the title I cannot say now, but our target must always be this.”
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