Red Bull team principal Christian Horner insists his team will not write off this season despite focusing on a number of significant changes in 2019.
Following more than a decade with Renault, Red Bull will switch to Honda power units from next season, having grown disillusioned with the French supplier. At the same time, Daniel Ricciardo will leave to join Renault, leading to Pierre Gasly stepping up from Toro Rosso to partner Max Verstappen. Despite so many changes on the horizon and with Red Bull now well adrift of honors in both championships, Horner says there are too many opportunities still remaining for his team to ignore.
Asked if there’s a feeling Red Bull is waiting for the end of the season, Horner told RACER: “No, not really. There’s still an awful lot we can learn. I think there’s a few tracks coming up, I’m looking forward to going to Singapore, I’m looking forward to going back to Mexico. Japan could be interesting for us, Brazil if it rains, so there’s still a lot to play for this year. The hardest races — Spa and Monza — we were on the podium at Spa, we could have been on the podium at Monza, so it’s not all bad.”
While Horner is expecting a stronger showing from Red Bull at the Marina Bay street circuit this weekend, he warns the circuit characteristics do not play to the RB14’s strengths as well as some other venues.
“Hopefully we can be more competitive in Singapore. Look, Singapore is not Monaco, there’s longer straights there and so on, but we were over a second away in qualifying at Monza. Hopefully we can get closer. We know in the race we are able to match what the leaders can do, and Singapore might be something other than a one-stop as well, so there’s more opportunities.”
Although Ricciardo retired from the Italian Grand Prix after taking a new power unit, Horner also confirmed a clutch problem should mean there was no damage to the engine and the Australian should avoid a penalty in Singapore.