Adrian Newey and the entire Red Bull Racing organisation are fired up ahead of the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship because they believe Honda power will put them in the mix among Ferrari and Mercedes at the season opener in Melbourne on March 17.
This edition of the Australian Grand Prix also marks a new era for the energy drinks outfit, for the first time they are a works team, with the might of Honda fully focussed on their four cars: the two Red Bulls and the Toro Rosso pair.
A positive showing during Barcelona F1 preseason testing over the two weeks has given both teams reason to feel confident, even bullish about where they stand ahead of the new season.
Speaking to Sky F1, Red Bull chief Christian Horner revealed, “The engine change has stimulated the whole team and particularly Adrian.”
“He sees that the engine is now getting closer and closer to the performance of the front-running teams. That’s really motivated him and he’s working very hard with all the guys and girls back in Milton Keynes.”
“Hopefully we can look forward to a good season. Our job is to close that gap to Ferrari and Mercedes. It’s clear Ferrari after the second test look very strong.”
“Mercedes are going to be there or thereabouts, they’re the reigning world champions so they’re not going to be slacking. I think we have definitely closed that gap.”
“We will see not just in Melbourne, because that’s a little bit of a unique track, but look over the first three races and then ask me again then how we’re faring,” added Horner.
Typically Helmut Marko called it as he saw it, “Ferrari is the big favourite. We are about three tenths behind, Mercedes half a second. After that, it is extremely close in midfield. Only in the back, there is clarity again. McLaren and Williams are the slowest.”