Red Bull terminated its first Formula 1 season with Honda behind Mercedes and Ferrari in the constructor championships. Following a difficult start, Red Bull has progressively improved the RB15, allowing Max Verstappen to win three races and finishing third in the drivers’ championship.
The Red Bull’s team principal Chris Horner reckoned that the new front win regulation and the engine transition from Renault to Honda were the main causes of the slow start in 2019. On the other hand, Horner affirmed that the team has now a strong understanding of the rules and synergy with Honda as a partner.
"There have been factors in recent years - like an engine transition or a front wing change last year," said Horner, speaking at a Red Bull media event in London.
"This year, we've changed our philosophy as well going into this year, being really earlier.
Horner continued, pointing out that the RB16 has been developed over the RB15 basis due to the stability in the regulations between 2019 and 2020.
"With the stability of regulations, it is obvious the RB16 is very much an upgrade and evolution of RB15. It's focused on addressing some of its weak spots and building on its strengths.
Horner added that the team is eager to compete with Mercedes, indicated as the main rival and favorite competitor for the 2020 season.
"With that continuity, the team is really eager to go toe to toe with particularly Mercedes and take that challenge to them, because it is on those days that teamwork really counts: whether it is world record pitstops, whether it's getting the strategy right, or of course reliability."
The Red Bull’s team principal, concluded, remarking how Honda did a great job in enhancing the Red Bull’s performance, pushing, besides, the Milton Keynes' team to optimize the chassis.
"I think the big factor for us, to enable us to mount a challenge, is the power unit as well," he said.
"And Honda did such a great job in each introduction of an engine last year.
"They brought more performance, more power, and it feels we're getting very, very close now to Mercedes.
"And that therefore puts then the emphasis on the chassis side of the team to come up with the right chassis.
"We know we've got the drivers to get the job done. So going into this year we feel better prepared earlier than we certainly have for the last five years."