Red Bull F1 Boss Says Team Can Outscore Ferrari in Second Half of 2017
Christian Horner says "constant progress" could be the team's key to success.
Red Bull F1 has performed steadily through 2017, staying in the upper part of the top half behind Mercedes Benz and Ferrari. Engine and reliability woes have kept the team back from truly challenging for the championship, but chief Christian Horner feels that they have things worked out to perform much better in the second half of 2017. According to him, both Ricciardo and Verstappen have the pace to outscore the likes of Ferrari, meaning they could make up significant ground before this season's end.
Horner's team currently sits in third place, 134 points behind Ferrari and 173 points behind top dog Mercedes. While Ricciardo's string of poles through the first half helped to score a good amount of points for the Red Bull crew, Verstappen suffered five DNFs, leaving them as a one man crew in several of the year's first races. However, Horner feels that their luck will change once they return from F1's summer break.
"From a championship point of view, I think the gap between us and the Mercedes and the Ferraris is too big to haul back," he told Autosport. "But I would like to at least outscore Ferrari, certainly in the second half of the year."
He went on to reinforce that statement, saying they have the capability to test the Maranello team if they're on top of their game.
"And if we can get into a situation to challenge for podiums and the higher places on the podium a couple of races between now and the end of the year, that is a realistic and aggressive target for us."
Horner noted the team's "constant progress", an achievement that was reached not only by its drivers, but also its engineers and staff. Thanks to the combined effort, they've been able to overcome issues that plagued them early on.
"To solve any problem, you got to break that problem down and analyse it," he said. "The guys here in the technical team did a very good job of getting a hold of that quickly."
"It wasn't really until Barcelona that we were able to introduce the first sort of package addressing those issues, and that we really started to make progress. I think we are going in a good direction. We've put constant progress on the car since the Barcelona race and we'll keep pushing all the way through the season."