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Red Bull 'ahead of Mercedes' thanks to 'rocket' Honda

Red Bull 'ahead of Mercedes' thanks to 'rocket' Honda

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Red Bull 'ahead of Mercedes' thanks to 'rocket' Honda

Red Bull 'ahead of Mercedes' thanks to 'rocket' Honda

Red Bull are seemingly ready to challenge for the world championship, having claimed that their "rocket" of a Honda power unit has put them ahead of Mercedes. With Ferrari seemingly nudging ahead of their rivals after he early stages of pre-season testing, Red Bull seem confident that they are the Scuderia's closest challengers.

Getting a lot of the credit for that is the team's new works engine partner.

"We have been able to greatly improve reliability and at the same time increase performance," said Honda F1 boss Toyoharu Tanabe, who has targeted victories in 2019.

Follow @GPFansGlobal on Instagram for behind-the-scenes access from across the testing fortnight.

"But we always make winning the goal, whether it is F1 or another series," he told Speed Week.

"Our goal is certainly to achieve better results than last year with both teams."

Team officials at Red Bull are enthusing about their new engine, with Christian Horner claiming it is "clearly better" than the Renault power unit they used last year.

"We see Ferrari ahead of us at the moment, but we are not worried about the times," said Dr Helmut Marko. "We are ahead of Mercedes."

Rumours are about excessive engine vibrations, meanwhile, were denied.

"We are totally satisfied," Marko told Auto Bild. "The package works as expected."

Horner continued: "We are fully on schedule. The car works as we predicted, and the Honda engine is a rocket.

"Pierre Gasly told us that the engine is better than last year's. And Max is raving about it. He feels much more power."

And so Horner said Red Bull is not considering simply copying Ferrari's front wing design, reportedly a key factor in their advantage so far.

"What we have works best for us," he said. "We looked at the Ferrari concept but our simulations tell us that our wing has more potential."

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