Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has revealed that Renault still have a 47bhp deficit to the Mercedes power unit, despite big upgrades in Monaco.
Despite Horner having a very public fallout with the French manufacturer last season, he’s under the impression that this year, Renault can develop the hybrid engine to the point that the gap is reduced.
Renault have come a long way from the initial struggles of 2014 when power-units replaced the V8’s. They were the big losers in the development race, but seem to have slowly but surely worked their way towards Mercedes.
Horner seemed quite positive about the development plan for this year. He said,
“I think that Renault have made some great steps, we know that there’s more in the pipeline and I think there’s definitely more to come and it’s how it works in harmony with the chassis. I think we know that we are 35 kilowatts behind, that’s what the Renault guys tell us, and we know the plans they have in place to close that gap down.
Well we have some fuel and some tuning and drivability that there is definitely performance to come from. We’re quite confident that they’ll still be some steps of performance by tidying up what we actually have.”
– Christian Horner
They’re positive, progressive words, but just as the pack catches up with Mercedes and threatens to make the racing more interesting, a 2017 regulation overhaul will act as a reset button. Yeah, it’ll give the likes of Red Bull or Ferrari the chance to dominate like Mercedes have, but there’s always the chance that we’ll get stuck with another mini-era dominated by a single team…