Red Bull Banking on Renault Engine Upgrade for Canadian GP

Red Bull Racing are looking forward to bridging the gap between themselves and the Mercedes/Ferrari fight, but will reportedly have to wait until the Canadian GP for Renault’s engine upgrade.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 26: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Red Bull Racing Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB13 TAG Heuer battles for position with Kimi Raikkonen of Finland driving the (7) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H on track during the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park on March 26, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 26: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Red Bull Racing Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB13 TAG Heuer battles for position with Kimi Raikkonen of Finland driving the (7) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H on track during the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park on March 26, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

The last in the pecking order of the “Big Three”, Formula One team Red Bull has shown that it has the potential to catch up to rivals Mercedes and Ferrari during the outing in Melbourne – but it’s just not there yet. While an engine upgrade would certainly be the most effective way of dropping more power into the car, the team concedes that there is plenty of work to be done elsewhere on the RB13 to ensure that it remains a competitive car throughout the duration of the Formula One season.

Red Bull Motorsport Advisor Helmut Marko gave voice to his thoughts regarding the car’s performance, saying that there is clearly work to be done, and that they can expect various sizes of upgrades at different points in the season:

“There’s a lot of work to do the race speed makes us think positively. But from our side there is a lot to do, and Renault’s side as well. Montreal is their biggest step. Something smaller is coming in Barcelona, but a reasonable step in Montreal.”

– Helmut Marko

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 25: Sparks fly behind Daniel Ricciardo of Australia driving the (3) Red Bull Racing Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB13 TAG Heuer on track during final practice for the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park on March 25, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 25: Sparks fly behind Daniel Ricciardo of Australia driving the (3) Red Bull Racing Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB13 TAG Heuer on track during final practice for the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park on March 25, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Marko also responded affirmatively when questioned on whether or not the Renault upgrades will be enough to move the team up the order:

“We hope so, if we improve our chassis dramatically as well. Our engineers think so, and the simulations say so, also.” – Helmut Marko

Marko admits that while the outing in Melbourne wasn’t ideal – especially with Daniel Ricciardo’s troubled start and subsequent race drop – he believes that the team can work to catch up to the rest of the pack and (hopefully) overtake them.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 25: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia driving the (3) Red Bull Racing Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB13 TAG Heuer on track during final practice for the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park on March 25, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 25: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia driving the (3) Red Bull Racing Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB13 TAG Heuer on track during final practice for the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park on March 25, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

While Marko laments Verstappen’s speed being only two seconds faster, the team doesn’t find itself in hot water just yet – that’s spot is reserved for McLaren.