Christian Horner says that Red Bull has no chance of achieving success in 2015 – and says it would be better for Renault to take risks on reliability in the search for performance and thus better form next season.
Horner did at least admit that it was good sign to see all four Renault-powered cars finished the race after a run of recent problems.
“I think it’s positive for the four engines to finish the race without any white smoke,” he said. “So it’s a step forward to where we’ve been in in previous races, so our reliability seems to have been a step forward here. We hope this step leads to more performance before too long.
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“I think they [Renault] know what the deficit is. The question is how they are going to make that up? I think that’s the bit that they don’t know at the moment. They’ve got things in the pipeline and things for later in the year, but it’s a work in progress. Obviously from the team’s point of view we want it as soon as possible. I think it will certainly be the second half of the year before we see anything significant.”
He added: “We are so far on the back foot with the reliability anyway. This year is pretty much a write-off. We just have to go for it, even it means we end up using 20 engines. It’s better to learn and make progress in preparation for next year than be conservative. It’s much easier to make a fast car or a fast engine reliable than a reliable car fast.
“I think they are looking at different scenarios and solutions, but they haven’t got a definitive direction yet. Things in the engine world seem to take an awful lot longer than on the chassis world.”
Horner doesn’t expect RBR to get very near the front this year.
“The problem is Mercedes are on a class of their own, then you’ve got Ferrari and Williams further up the road. The step that we need to get onto the back of that group can’t be done just by the chassis. We have made a step forward this weekend, particularly in the race, but unfortunately it’s not enough yet to get us close to the Williams or anywhere near Ferrari
“I think we are nowhere near winning a Grand Prix. You can see we got lapped today (the Spanish GP). It’s better to focus on getting performance, because we are on the back foot anyway. You have nothing to lose by throwing to the wind. We are not in Formula One to make up numbers. We are in it to try to compete at the front. If that means taking some risks that’s always been our philosophy, and that’s what we would encourage for Renault to do as well.”