Adamant Red Bull have “definitely” closed the gap on Ferrari and Mercedes, Christian Horner says it is all down to the Honda effect “stimulating” the entire Red Bull team.
Tired of not fighting for the World title, Red Bull put the blame for that squarely on engine supplier Renault and dropped them at the end of last season.
The Milton Keynes squad signed up with Honda for 2019 and are adamant they are already benefitting from the swap.
According to team boss Horner, the move revitalised design guru Adrian Newey who in recent years has delved into designing yachts and supercars as he sought new challenges.
Speaking to Sky Sports News, Horner said: “The engine change has stimulated the whole team – and particularly Adrian.
“He sees that the engine is now getting closer and closer to the performance of the front-running teams.
“That’s really motivated him and he’s working very hard with all the guys and girls back in Milton Keynes.
“Hopefully we can look forward to a good season.
The Brit reckons Red Bull have already made some inroads despite not featuring inside the top ten in the final pre-season test.
While Sebastian Vettel was quickest with a 1:16.221, Pierre Gasly set Red Bull’s fastest lap time, a 1:17.091.
“It’s clear Ferrari after the second test look very strong,” Horner added.
“Mercedes are going to be there or thereabouts, they’re the reigning World Champions so they’re not going to be slacking.
“I think we have definitely closed that gap.
“We will see not just in Melbourne, because that’s a little bit of a unique track, but look over the first three races and then ask me again then how we’re faring.”
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