Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko has identified the Canadian Grand Prix as a potential turning point as they wait for Renault's engine upgrade.
Red Bull were unable to match the pace of Ferrari and Mercedes in Australia, with Max Verstappen finishing P5 and Daniel Ricciardo forced to retire from a rather forgettable weekend all round.
Marko believes, though, that there were some signs of encouragement and is now looking to engine supplier Renault to help their cause.
“There’s a lot of work to do,” Marko told Motorsport.com.
“The race speed makes us think positively. But from our side there is a lot to do, and Renault’s side as well.
“Montreal is their biggest step. Something smaller is coming in Barcelona, but a reasonable step in Montreal."
Asked whether Renault's engine upgrades would be enough to close the gap to the leading pair, Marko believes the entire garage is hopeful of doing so.
“We hope so, if we improve our chassis dramatically as well," he added.
"Our engineers think so, and the simulations say so, also.”
Marko also expressed his disappointment by the lap times produced under the new aerodynamic regulations, which fell way short of the five-second predictions made by Pirelli in the off-season.
He said: “I think it was a positive race, but I was so fixed on Verstappen that I didn’t look at many other things. But we were only two seconds faster, and that was a little bit of a disappointment.”
The Canadian Grand Prix is Round 7 on the Formula 2017 calendar, with the race on June 11.