To compete effectively in the 2018 season, Red Bull “desperately” needs its engine performance to close the gap with the big two manufacturers says, Red Bull boss Christian Horner.
The Austrian squad won three races this season with two of them coming in Malaysia and Mexico.
But after Mexico, the team’s performance fell through in Brazil where they had to turn down their engines to avoid reliability issues.
When asked why the performance was not so good at Abu Dhabi, Horner said Yas Marina’s long straights did not work well for their cars.
“Reliability is a key issue next year, but it is also about maintaining the chassis development that we have had during the second half of the year, and we need desperately the engine to concertina in performance,” said Horner.
“Brazil is power sensitive, and in Abu Dhabi, you could see Mercedes were in a class of their own.
“If you listened to their radio content, when they turn their engines up, you only had to look at the middle sector.
“They would go half a second quicker or slower depending on what engine mode they choose.
“Hats off to them. They are doing a great job in that area, but engine performance is a key differentiator.”
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was keen to climb above Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen in the drivers’ championship since the Finn was only 5 points ahead. But unfortunately, the Australian’s wish could not come true since he was forced to retire due to a hydraulics failure.
After a tough season filled with engine failures, especially for Max Verstappen, Horner believes, the team has done well with whatever hand they were dealt with.
“Reliability wise we have DNFed in far too many races,” he said. “The RB13 has had 13 podiums and 13 DNFs, so we are looking forward to getting onto RB14!
“Reliability has cost us dear this year. If you assume that each of those DNFs averages between 10 and 12 points, you don’t have to be a mathematics professor to work out how costly that has been for us this year.”