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Red Bull: Beating Ferrari to P2 "very likely" without Renault problems

Written by  Dec 28, 2017

Red Bull would have "very likely" beaten Ferrari into second in the Constructors' Championship without the Renault engine problems, advisor Helmut Marko has claimed.

The Milton Keynes outfit was expected by many to make significant gains and challenge Mercedes in 2017 as new design rules played to their strength in aerodynamics, however, this was never the case as, instead, they fell back behind the Scuderia and were the third best team for much of the season.

"We had correlation problems that had forced us to start the season with a non-competitive chassis," the Austrian admitted talking to Formula1.com.

"We were able to change that at the start of the European season in Barcelona and from Budapest onwards I would say that we had the competitive chassis we had in mind, sometimes we had an outstanding chassis!"

More often than not their two drivers, Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, would be on the coattails of Kimi Raikkonen before becoming legitimate podium threats in the second half of the year, scoring two wins through the Dutchman in Malaysia and Mexico.

As the car became a match for the leaders though, one element would continue to hold them back.

"Engine-wise – and this was no secret – we had a lot of reliability problems, which hindered the engine manufacturer in further power developments," Marko claimed, referring to Renault.

"We had more than 10 DNF’s, this outstanding record speaks for itself. Without that we would have been significantly further up in both championships - P2 would very likely have been ours."

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Having ended the season much closer to Mercedes and Ferrari than they started it, there is optimism Red Bull can push on and become much greater threat throughout 2018. 

"We have learned our lesson from this year: we will not show up at the Barcelona tests with a non-competitive chassis!" Marko stated. "We have changed our schedule and how we approach the winter preparations. F1 is a competition and if they are better then we have to work harder."

Renault too, have vowed the problems of this year will be solved leading to the conclusion: "If we have a reliable power unit and if we have more horsepower then we should come nearer to Mercedes, so it really could be the scenario that Wolff saw in his crystal ball [of a three-way title fight]," he added. "It will be an exciting season, that is for sure."

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