Red Bull produced one of the best chassis in the team’s history in 2018, according to team principal Christian Horner.
While no other Renault-powered car even finished on the podium last year, the RB14 won four races last season, with a fifth escaping the team when Max Verstappen tangled with backmarker Esteban Ocon while leading in Brazil. That represents the team’s highest number of race wins in a single season in the V6 turbo era, and Horner says the chassis was up there with Red Bull’s strongest ever.
“It’s always easy to say ifs, buts and maybes,” Horner said. “If there would have been another 40KW in the back of the car then the season could have looked quite different. Hats off to everyone at Milton Keynes to arguably producing one of our best ever chassis. If you look at the other users with the same engine, there’s a world of difference.”
Despite the higher number of victories, Red Bull’s final points tally of 418 was lower than the 468 it managed as runner-up to Mercedes in 2016. On that occasion, there were two wins but only two retirements and one did not start, compared to 12 failures to finish last season.
Red Bull is hopeful the switch to Honda power will allow the team to challenge for victories on a more regular basis in the coming season, and Horner says the transition from Renault has been made easier by Honda’s UK location and existing partnership with Toro Rosso.
“Communication in any business, in particular in this sport, is a vital element. Obviously Honda being based in Japan but their UK base is just around the corner from us in Milton Keynes.
“We’ve obviously got a huge amount of discussion going on between the groups and so far it’s all been very positive and I think we’ve found a very healthy working environment that we’ve been nurturing through the relationship with Red Bull Technology, Toro Rosso and Honda, that we don’t go into [the 2019 season] completely afresh.”