Red Bull's wins a confidence boost for McLaren

Red Bull's victories in the 2017 Formula 1 season have given McLaren confidence about what it can achieve when it starts using Renault engines next year, despite the reliability issues.

Red Bull's wins a confidence boost for McLaren
Zak Brown, Executive Director, McLaren Technology Group, Eric Boullier, Racing Director, McLaren
Brendon Hartley, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12 retires from the race
Brendon Hartley, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12 retires from the race
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13

The French manufacturer's power units have been plagued by problems during the year, and its works team as well as Red Bull and Toro Rosso had issues during the previous race weekend in Mexico.

For McLaren, which has ditched Honda for next year because its power unit was underperforming and unreliable, this could have prompted worries about the Woking-based team's impending switch to Renault.

But team chiefs Eric Boullier and Zak Brown are adamant that they have seen nothing that worries them, and instead say they actually are encouraged by the fact that the Renault engine has helped Red Bull to win two of the last four races.

"Fixing reliability is a challenge, but it is always easier than finding performance," Boullier told Motorsport.com.

"What I just would like to take on board is that in Malaysia and Mexico, they were proper runaway wins.

"The Renault engine won two races in the last four races, and in a very fair and clean manner. So no concern at all."

Brown added: They are pushing the envelope. They are turning up the power and when you turn up the power you increase the reliability risk. But I am not concerned about it."

Boullier is aware though that Red Bull's success shows that the Milton Keynes-based team is back to its top form in F1 after a difficult start to the campaign, which means McLaren's own challenge to be fighting for wins next year will be harder.

"They have definitely stepped up the last three races, and it is a good reference for McLaren now. So we know who we have to beat next year and that is it," he said.

Additional reporting by Edd Straw

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