Red Bull Racing’s Team Principal, Christian Horner has spoken about the coming season explaining in a rather poetic way that the Milton Keynes based squad is on target for the upcoming 2017 Formula One season.
“We are like a swan on the surface and paddling furiously underneath but that is the same as every preseason so generally we are on target," Horner said in an interview with Red Bull. "What excites us most about 2017 is the opportunities that arise from these new regulations. It's going to be fascinating to see who's got it right and who's got it wrong," said the Briton, whose team were runners-up last year.”
“You'll see big increments early on because the regulations are pretty immature. I think there is going to be low-hanging fruit early on to make sizeable steps. That's going to push every department in the whole team to try and outwit, outsmart, out-develop and out-produce our rivals. That's going to be a stellar challenge in F1 this year."
Their 2016 contender showed promise in some events as they took the challenge to the Championship winning Mercedes team, however, the team’s Chief Engineering Officer Rob Marshall said that they are expecting significant gains from their 2017 contender, which will be revealed to the public in Barcelona on Sunday.
“The car is expected to be between three and five seconds a lap faster and most of that gain will come through cornering speeds where the increased downforce on the car will mean the car will go around the corners quicker.”
So how will that feed their drivers rivalry? We all know how young max Verstappen will move through the field with ease, and that would include passing his teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, if he needed to. We have seen in other teams how that can lead to other problems, however Horner is convinced that his driver pairing is sound….
“They are both ferocious racers. I don’t think there are drivers out there who are better overtakers than our guys. They revel in being Grand Prix drivers and having fun along the way. There is a big brother little brother mentality going on,” he explained.
One of last year’s biggest bones of contention was the lack of power from their Renault engine but Horner is confident on that front as well…
It's a brand new engine this year, a change of philosophy. They (Renault) have had a big winter. We're hoping for a step up in performance and if that's delivered then hopefully we can really be a challenger team this year and give the Mercedes and Ferraris a hard time."