The mood at Red Bull is upbeat, even though part-time designer Adrian Newey admits the RB12 will not be a Mercedes-beater in 2016.
But that is not because the car is bad, team official Dr Helmut Marko insists.
In fact, he told Auto Motor und Sport the RB12 is “the best chassis Red Bull has ever built”.
On day two, for instance, Daniel Ricciardo was second best behind Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, on the same purple-walled ‘ultra soft’ tyres.
“The fuel, (and) which engine mode they (Ferrari) were in, we don’t know,” said Marko when asked about the 7 tenths deficit. “We are still conservative.
“But our car was quick right away and reacts logically to each setup change.”
The Austrian also sounds upbeat about the engine situation, even though there seems to be a two-way agreement between Renault and Red Bull not to mention one another’s actual names.
Marko said: “After the experiences of the last two years, it is completely unfamiliar to us to be getting so many kilometres under the belt.”
There were some problems when Daniil Kvyat got his first taste on Wednesday, but Marko is still complimentary of the work Renault – or ‘Tag Heuer’ – has done.
“Clear progress can be seen,” he said. “It goes in the right direction.
“It is good that they have made Remi Taffin the boss. He is a practical man who saw the problems on track and knows what needs to be done.”
Renault team boss Frederic Vasseur, meanwhile, confirmed that Red Bull will have parity with the works team, and sounds confident about the engine progress.
“We have taken a very big step with the engine,” he told the Danish newspaper BT, “and there is another significant update in the near future.”
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