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."
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."
Grosjean to get a "pretty good idea" of
"Optimistic" Alonso targets F1 title aft
FIA target engine modes in effort to ens
Rowland joins Williams as young test dri
Vettel not "worried" but biding time bef
Return to papaya McLaren shows "deeper e
"Apprehensive" Alonso hopeful McLaren wi
McLaren unveils striking MCL33
Hamilton hopeful new Mercedes "irons out
Ferrari reveal the SF71H at Maranello
2018 McLaren colour confirmed in leaked
Toro Rosso hail "perfect" Misano shakedo
New Mercedes W09 breaks cover at Silvers
Toro Rosso STR13 revealed at Misano test
Force India in talks over potential take
Sochi promoters considering track tweaks
Petrobras to return to F1 with McLaren i
Hulkenberg sure of "exciting times ahead
Renault launches the R.S.18
Minor crash hampers Red Bull shakedown,
Sauber unveil the first car of new Alfa
Bottas reveals trouble-free race simulat
Marko worried Renault will hold Red Bull
Red Bull reveals new RB14 with special c
Kubica satisfied with progress despite m
Bottas will do "anything" to beat Hamilt
Red Bull & McLaren pressuring Liberty to
Latifi given Canada practice outing as p
Mercedes include McLaren and Renault as
Miami emerging as likely destination for
Kubica: Watching races will be "quite di
Verstappen "not looking forward" to raci
Brawn: DRS still a "necessary band-aid"
Williams hoping "significantly different
Williams reveal images of new FW41 in Lo
Sauber: Force India similarities offer l
Haas reveals first photos of new VF-18
Toro Rosso hoping to "spring some surpri
Alonso maintains earlier prediction of r
Haas sets ambitious 2018 performance tar
Ricciardo confident of greater Red Bull
Red Bull announce launch date for the RB
Baku race promoter wants to improve "una
McLaren expecting some aerodynamic oppor
F1 CEO Carey: Ferrari "unique" but can't
Mallya "proud" of Force India but sugges
Stroll using Hamilton as inspiration aga
FIA confirm ongoing work with IndyCar af
Button critical of WEC decision to chang
Verstappen sure rivals "would never see"
McLaren upbeat as Renault confident of e
Track limits a main topic as FIA officia
WEC confirms Fuji date change to accommo
Ricciardo wants "fast" teammate, particu
F1 CEO Carey considers Formula E a "stre
Grosjean identifies development as area
Hulkenberg "convinced" he was pushing 10
New Volkswagen motorsport boss coy on Po
McLaren would be interested in re-signin
Kyalami would only consider F1 if Libert
Alonso: Honda troubles led to a "united"
Pirelli targeting balance between better
Wehrlein confirms DTM return for 2018 af
Ricciardo needs to beat Verstappen to bo
Renault claims prospect of an engine ove
Sirotkin strongly rejects "pay driver" l
McLaren unconcerned by hectic Alonso sch
F1 announces new 'Grid Kids' initiative
Force India predict four-team battle for
Mercedes keen to establish if 'diva' cha
Liberty/ Ferrari confrontation "inevitab
Massa hoping for changes to address lack
Wolff: Ocon must beat Perez in 2018 to s
Alonso WEC program about proving he is "
Verstappen "challenge" makes him Ricciar
Stroll rejects notion of Massa as a ment
Boullier feared potential Alonso exit wo
Wolff sure new Hamilton/ Mercedes deal "
F1 decision to stop use of grid girls dr
Barrichello "feeling great" after reveal
F1 confirms change in start times for al
Fuji considering WEC date change to acco
8 F1 2018 predictions: Haas bottom of co
Marko suggests Alonso "did everything he
Williams insist 2018 driver line-up a lo
F1 ends use of grid girls from 2018
Bottas admits doubts led him to "overthi
Agag: Formula E will be the "main motors
Alonso hails Daytona performance of McLa
Toro Rosso targeting fourth, announce Ba
Alonso to combine F1 and WEC in 2018 aft
Renault confirms launch date for new R.S
Resurfaced Barcelona track causing Pirel
Sainz enjoys "very special" experience a
Date set for 2018 Alfa Romeo Sauber laun
Alonso feeling positive despite troubled
Hamilton pinpoints his main 2018 F1 titl
Liberty considering start time change fo
Mercedes: Fewer engines won't stop perfo
Williams reveal earliest 2018 launch dat