Horner: New fuel can push engine on
14 June 2017 – Christian Horner is confident that Red Bull will still feel engine gains through 2017, despite supplier Renault's admission that no major update will come until next year.
Red Bull boss Horner stated at the Canadian Grand Prix that Renault was on track to introduce a performance upgrade in Azerbaijan, only for Renault to deny such plans.
According to Cyril Abiteboul, Renault Sport's Managing Director, the manufacturer's next sizeable update will not arrive until 2018, when it will run a "completely new concept".
However, Horner noted a "great job" from new fuel partner ExxonMobil, which replaced Total over the winter, and expects it to unlock performance from Renault's power unit.
"Well, this is Renault's decision," Horner reacted, in an interview with the official F1 website.
"We take whatever we can, when we can – for sure we'd rather sooner than later!
"We knew that Montréal would be tricky and so will be the next two races, Azerbaijan and Austria; we will probably introduce our next engine [from the season's pool] in Austria.
"Hopefully that will be a bit of a boost as our fuel supplier, ExxonMobil, did a great job finding performance – in this area there is quite a bit of potential."
Asked if it came as a shock that Renault did not make it clearer that there would be no major update this season, Horner replied: "Nothing surprises me these days.
"You deal with the hand that you've got and we will keep on pushing the best we can.
"As I just said, we are very confident ExxonMobil will help in performance from that side, and the last three races have been promising, so let's see what Baku holds."
Red Bull sits third in the 2017 standings, over 100 points off leader Mercedes.