Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is confident that his team can once again win the World Championship – if they have a competitive engine.
The Milton Keynes-based outfit have struggled over the past two seasons following the shift to V6 turbo hybrid engines, with Renault battling to adjust to the new engine regulations brought in prior to the 2014 campaign.
This tale of woe comes on the back of a period of great success in which Red Bull were the dominant force between 2010 and 2013.
While the current gap to Mercedes and Ferrari is a big one, Horner does not believe that it is insurmountable. However, the Briton has asserted that they need to make great strides on the engine front if they are to get back to the front of the field, and that this is achievable if they have the right customer engine, such as the one they would receive if the mooted partnership with Ferrari was to occur.
"We won four World Championships and 50 grands prix as a customer, so I don't see why not. I think it's just a different solution," Horner told ESPN.
"In order to achieve a Championship or outright race-winning capability we need to have a significant step on the power unit. Obviously we need to make progress on the chassis and we are working very hard to do that, but we really need to close that gap down to our competitors."
Horner believes that Renault are paying the price for being complacent about their ability to produce a competitive V6 engine, and were too slow to adapt to the new regulations.
"I think the problem that Renault had is that they didn't adapt quick enough," he said. "Mercedes, as soon as the regulations became clear for 2014, invested a lot more a lot earlier and did an awful lot more simulation and background work. I think Renault missed that opportunity and are now, as a result, playing catch-up."