Horner: Red Bull will be underdogs despite Renault work


Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes they will go into the new Formula One season as underdogs, but praised the work done by Renault during the off-season.

The Renault-powered Red Bull won four consecutive Drivers' Championship and Constructors' Championship titles from 2010 to 2013, but their relationship with the engine supplier became strained last season following concerns over reliability and pace.

After failing to secure a new power-unit provider for the 2016 season, Red Bull agreed to remain with Renault but under the branding of TAG Heuer.

Horner is not expecting a return to the top in the coming campaign, but is confident that Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat will be able to compete more next season.

"We're going into the season as underdogs and hopefully will be able to punch above our weight," he said at the launch of Red Bull's livery for 2016.

"Testing in Barcelona next week will give us some indication of where we are. But in such a long season it's going to ebb and flow.

"It's very difficult to make predictions but Renault have focused on what appears to be the right areas over the winter.

"There's a confidence from them we haven't seen for some time. Hopefully progress will be made which will enable us to get on the tails of Williams and the cars immediately ahead."

The team principal revealed that crash testing of the car had only been completed on Wednesday, but he is unfazed by something other teams may deem a risk.

"We hadn't done any crash tests before Monday of this week, and we've completed them all in three days, with the last one only an hour ago," Horner said.

"We have taken risks. Other teams perhaps wouldn't have dreamed of competing crash tests one week before the first test.

"But that's how we roll. That's what our DNA is and the competitive drive there is within the team."