Horner pins hopes on overtaking Ferrari on new Renault engine for Monaco
Red Bull Racing head Christian Horner believes Renault’s new power unit can move his team ahead of Ferrari in the pecking order for the rest of the season.
Renault gave its B-spec engine its debut during the post-spanish GP test session last week. The unit ran without fault so Renault has opted to move its introduction forward from Canada to Monaco this weekend. Renault was initially hesitant for Monaco due to the extra power of the new engine affecting driveability in slower speed turns, but testing last week disproved those fears.
Horner said: “I have to pay compliment to our TAG Heuer engine partners, who have done a great job in making progress, with what is in the pipeline [Renault’s upgrade] for coming races, there is a lot of reason for optimism.
“If we get what is advertised and it’s going to put us in a position to at least race Ferrari every weekend then hopefully we can start to close that gap down to Mercedes too at certain circuits.
“Daniel [Ricciardo] qualified within 0.65s of Lewis Hamilton [in Spain], which is the closest that I think anyone has been in the last 12 months.
“At a track like Barcelona that’s really encouraging. If we can find a few tenths on the power unit side it’ll certainly be gratefully received.”
Renault will only have enough parts to bring one new spec engine to each of its teams [Renault and Red Bull Racing] for Monaco. Red Bull has yet to specify if Ricciardo or Spanish GP winner Max Verstappen will get the new unit first.