When Red Bull Racing switched Daniil Kvyat out for hot young gun Max Verstappen, we knew they were gearing up for big things. But it seems they were not quite done showing us all their cards yet. They’ve just pulled a smoking new upgrade from their holster, one that will apparently put them back in contention with rivals Mercedes.
The upgraded ‘B-spec’ power unit will be making its debut at the Spanish GP post-race test. It’s rumoured to have a 30 horsepower improvement in performance. Sounds a bit underwhelming, doesn’t it? Keep in mind that most F1 units are capable of producing 900 bhp when their hybrid systems are fully engaged. This is a massive boost to their power that will keep them on a pretty even keel with Ferrari, although they still lag a little behind Mercedes in that department. However, Renault has supposedly been trying to compensate by adopting the same kind of combustion chamber philosophy Mercedes and Ferrari apply.
We can see how this may raise the alarm bells for some of you devoted Red Bull fans who know your engines. After all, Renault announced that it would start 2015 off with a bang by debuting an engine that would halve its deficit to Mercedes, but it turned out to be faulty and unreliable with an added power deficit of up to 100 bhp. But they have some very confident backing from people who should know what they’re talking about. One of these individuals happens to be Daniel Ricciardo.
“Renault have surprised me. We wouldn’t have thought it was possible that they would make so much progress in the winter. The upgrade from Canada should again bring a step from within the same range.”
While the engine won’t necessarily make the Red Bull cars quicker than the Mercs, it’s definitely going to allow top contenders like Ricciardo bring it up to speed with them. It’s also not the only upgrade the vehicles are going to receive either, though Renault is keeping coyly mum about these new developments. It looks like despite some tension in the last year, both Renault and Red Bull will be ringing in the seasons to come arm-in-arm