Red Bull brings forward planned China updates to Australia
Red Bull has fast-tracked an upgrade originally planned for the Chinese Grand Prix on to its car for this weekend’s Formula 1 season opener in Australia.
With the Milton Keynes-based operation bullish about its prospects for 2019 on the back of a switch to Honda engines, the team has worked flatout since testing to get the updates ready early.
Red Bull’s motorsport advisor Helmut Marko told the company’s TV channel ServusTV that a "fully motivated" Adrian Newey had pulled out all the stops to get the new parts ready early.
"Parts that were planned for the third race were brought forward, thanks to all the pressure he [Newey] could provide to get them on to the car for Melbourne,” revealed Marko.
Marko said that Red Bull was full of confidence about the competitiveness of the RB15, which he reckoned was the ‘best’ car his team had produced.
"Our optimism is not unfounded. I see us behind Ferrari over the race distance, but ahead of Mercedes," he said.
"The RB15 is certainly the best and most expensive car in the history of Red Bull Racing, if you take efficiency and the technical perfection of the parts.
“[It was only possible] because in every phase every employee was convinced: Now we are back on track. Now we have another chance to drive for victories on our own."
Marko also hit back at cynics who suggests that too much has been made of Honda’s progress – as he said the ambition was for Red Bull to win at least five races this year.
"There have been many negative voices saying that Honda can't do it. But we've never had such faultless test days," he said.
"If we have more horsepower, it's only logical that we have to look forward this year. Last year we had four victories. Five victories are realistic. I hope there will be even more."
Ricciardo promises even more overtaking in 2019
Mission Winnow insists it’s "here to stay" with Ferrari