Red Bull boss Christian Horner has claimed that the whole team, and especially famous designer and engineer Adrian Newey, have been "stimulated" for the new season due to their change of engine provider from Renault to Honda, with the new partnership looking promising for 2019.
The team previously had a long-standing relationship with Renault which lasted over a decade, but after their 2018 season was littered with engine reliability issues, they opted to make the switch to Honda.
Horner says the whole team has been invigorated by the change, and Newey in particular.
"The engine change has stimulated the whole team - and particularly Adrian," Horner told Sky Sports News.
"He sees that the engine is now getting closer and closer to the performance of the front-running teams. That's really motivated him and he's working very hard with all the guys and girls back in Milton Keynes.
"Hopefully we can look forward to a good season. Our job is to close that gap to Ferrari and Mercedes."
That's the chequered flag on #F1Testing ???? The #RB15 completing a total of 833 laps over the 8 days. ???? On to Melbourne! ???????? #F1 pic.twitter.com/nOmRGWt3rn — Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) March 1, 2019
Red Bull may have had similar engine issues in testing in Barcelona over the past couple of weeks, but Horner is not concerned, saying they have shorted the chasm between themselves and Mercedes and Ferrari.
"It's clear Ferrari after the second test look very strong," the Red Bull boss continued.
"Mercedes are going to be there or thereabouts, they're the reigning world champions so they're not going to be slacking.
"I think we have definitely closed that gap. We will see not just in Melbourne, because that's a little bit of a unique track, but look over the first three races and then ask me again then how we're faring."