Christian Horner believes that whether or not Red Bull can challenge for the 2017 title is reliant on the engine Renault provide them with.
Renault have hinted at a new, more aggressive design for their new engine, which will be completely new for the 2017 season and is expected to bridge the gap to Mercedes.
“It’s a brand new engine for this year, a change in philosophy. They’ve had a big winter,” Christian Horner said.
“We’re hoping for a step in performance and, if that’s delivered, hopefully we can really be a challenger team this year and give the Mercedes and Ferraris a hard time.”
With the abandonment of the token system for engine development, engine manufacturers now have free reign over their designs during the winter break, which Renault intends to take full advantage of.
“We went into the winter on a real high. Momentum definitely built during the course of last year. We developed the car well, we raced well, strategically we were strong.
“Mercedes are the triple world champions, they’re the team to beat. They set the bar pretty high, but that’s what we’re aspiring to.
“Hopefully we can be a real challenger team. I think the driver line-up we have is fantastic, we’ve had great stability in the team and we’re excited about the year ahead.
Horner also commented on the aesthetics of the new car, with the 2017 regulations aimed at making the cars look more aggressive.
“I think the RB13 is one of the prettiest cars that we’ve designed and made because the geometry of the car under these new regulations, the proportions look right. It looks means, it looks fast. It’s that old adage, ‘If it looks right, it tends to go alright’, and this car for sure looks right.”
Red Bull will unveil the RB13 on the eve of testing in Barcelona on Sunday.
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