Horner ’spinning plates’ between 2020 and 2021 campaigns
Christian Horner concedes Red Bull will have "to spin a few plates this year" in its attempt to balance a 2020 Formula 1 title fight with development of its car for 2021 given a major regulation change.
Following last year's performance, with Max Verstappen winning three grands prix and claiming six other podiums to finish a career-high third in the drivers' standings, it was widely anticipated he and Red Bull will be strong championship contenders this season.
If Red Bull is in the hunt, Horner recognises the difficulties that will then be posed as he knows the team cannot be found wanting for 2021 when the cars will look significantly different due to the new rules package.
"It's that balancing act this year because we are pushing as hard as we can with RB16, but the RB17 is a very different car with new regulations, so a lot of Adrian's focus is already on RB17," said Horner, referring to chief technical officer Adrian Newey.
"You've only got a certain amount of resource, and it's how you carve that up without comprising current performance.
"So you've got to spin a few plates this year. You've got a finite amount of resource, and it's how you use that resource effectively and efficiently.
"I think we've enough focus on both campaigns at the moment. Of course, there will gradually be a transition over after the first third of the year."
Horner could not be happier with his team's start to testing, with Verstappen racking up 168 laps on day one without any sign of reliability issues.
"It was a really strong day yesterday," added Horner. "170 laps I think is the most we've ever done on day one in Barcelona. We nearly wore the driver out as it was almost three times a grand prix distance.
"It was a very positive day. We covered all the test items we wanted to. His initial feedback was very positive, addressing some of the areas we wanted to focus on over the winter."
Horner claims the team's relationship with engine supplier Honda has also "evolved and tightened" over the winter, and in the wake of a successful debut partnership last year.
"This whole package is more integrated," said Horner. "The whole team has done a great job of turning out this car. We've come here with more miles on the dyno than previously, and with reliability straight out of the box."
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