Red Bull will have the new RB14 ready for the first test in Barcelona while Toro Rosso is in front of the big sister squad with their STR13 although they had to adjust the car to the Honda power unit.
Four weeks before the start of the test Red Bull believes the new car will be ready in time despite delaying parts production every season to maximize development time.
“Based on last year’s experience, we have set the deadline for engineers so this time there will be no problems with the first test,” said Red Bull Motorsport advisor Helmut Marko.
Red Bull passed most of FIA crash tests, but the new RB14 still has some tests to do. In this area Toro Rosso is in front of the Red Bull because the STR13 has already passed the chassis, nose, rear crash structure and halo protection tests, despite having to adjust their chassis for the new engine.
“Toro Rosso is always a bit ahead of Red Bull with the construction of a new car. If Toro Rosso is on production, Red Bull has not finished the design yet.”
New RB14 meets development targets
Marko says Red Bull’s new car delivers expected results in the wind tunnel, but that is the case every year, which does not mean same results will be on the track as well. Last season, due to insufficient data correlation, RB13 did not meet expectations and started the season more than a second behind Mercedes and Ferrari.
“We have optimum values, but I repeat – we have them every year. Last year we had a hard wake-up call on the first tests because the results from the wind tunnel did not happen.”
Adrian Newey will continue to be involved in the design and development of the new RB14, but not with 100% engagement.
“He will not be included 100%, but he will be very active.”
Honda could soon catch Renault
Marko says Red Bull does not know which engines they’ll use in 2019, but praises Honda and says they made a step forward with their new F1 engine.
“Honda is very active and has already found something,” he said.
“Maybe they could be on the Renault level with second engine specification. Honda had to compromise with McLaren’s chassis specification.”
“They were not free to develop and were quite limited. Alonso did everything to make Honda look bad.”