Red Bull: Engine saga revealed insight into rivals

Red Bull has revealed that it gained invaluable insight into what rival Formula 1 engine manufacturers were up to as it pondered a switch of power units last year.

While Red Bull bosses worked on chasing down a deal with Mercedes, Ferrari or Honda, engineering staff were given some data about concept and packaging of alternative options.

And although Red Bull in the end stuck with Renault, the team's chief designer Rob Marshall says the alternative options did deliver some valuable lessons about where improvements could come.

"We were looking at other power units, there is no secret to that," he said during the opening day of pre-season testing at Barcelona in Spain.

"We had a good idea of what requirements those would have on car design, and we were looking at various different car concepts in parallel.

"It was a good exercise because it shows what the opposition are up to anyway."

When asked if the team had got hold of actual rivals' engine data, Marshall said: "Some supplied a bit of info, some didn't supply any.

"But we have probably got as good an idea of what everyone is doing up and down the grid as anyone."

Renault progress

Although 2015 was marred by a falling out between Red Bull and Renault, the team is more upbeat about the manufacturer's progress for this year.

Technical chief Adrian Newey said: "They are on a good course now and they have had a good winter.

"Obviously there is a big deficit to make up but, with the new procedures and the budget that has gone into it and the way it is working, they are on a good path. I have confidence that they will slowly close the gap."

Chassis lessons

Newey also said that Red Bull itself has recovered well from concept mistakes it made in 2015.

"There is no big step forwards, but I think have done a good job, tidying things up," he said about the RB12.

"We learned from lessons from the start of last year when we made mistakes in our direction; talking about the car over the winter in terms of how it affected the drivers' perception of the car

"It was a good learning curve for us. We adapted and learned from that, through the first half of last season and the revisions around the Silverstone area.

"And we have kept developing the car since then. We are further down that route over the winter."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Teams Red Bull Racing
Article type Breaking news