Thuesday, 08 january 2019, 05:51 , by Martin Macdonald
Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko has revealed that the team's new engine supplier, Honda, have given them enough gains over the winter that they can now enjoy a 'party mode' - a source of power only previously enjoyed by their rivals, Ferrari and Mercedes.
After a long partnership with Renault, Red Bull opted to change engine suppliers in 2018 after becoming disillusioned with the engine performance provided by the French manufacturer.
Marko has insisted that Honda have already provided significant improvements, meaning that they are now within the same bracket as Ferrari and Mercedes.
"The figures make us really optimistic, also with regard to the increase in performance," Marko told Motorsport.com.
"For the first time we can also celebrate with a 'party mode'!
"The Honda engine is already slightly above the Renault engine. If you combine our GPS data with the data provided by Honda, we'll be in the Mercedes and Ferrari region.
Marko admits that Ferrari and Mercedes will be working hard on their own gains, but thinks they have so much power already that there is not too much room for improvement.
"Of course they're not sleeping either. But they are already at such a high level that they can no longer make such jumps.
"Even if we should be 10 or 15 kW behind, that was no different in our Renault era with the eight-cylinder engine. We can make up for that."