Horner: RBR lost 'months' amid poor correlation
9 August 2017 – Red Bull team boss Christian Horner believes the squad lost two-and-a-half months in terms of development compared to its rivals after early-season correlation issues.
Red Bull had a subdued pre-season period and emerged as the third-best team, behind the Mercedes/Ferrari title battle, but clear of the midfield group.
It has gradually closed the gap to the leading duo, and Horner explained that its slow start to the year was a result of simulation models and on-track results not adding up.
"I think coming into the season, we came in on the back foot really, [as] our tools weren't correlating with what we were seeing on the track," Horner explained.
"I think predominantly it was the wind tunnel that was leading us a little bit astray. The size of the model, the size of the tyres, in the tunnel that we have, gave some spurious results.
"Previously they'd been very, very reliable in specific areas, [but] suddenly we had this divergence between track, tunnel and CFD.
"It probably cost us around two months, two-and-a-half months, in terms of where it put us back to.
"Then, of course, you're working flat out to try and recoup all of that time, but it's not like all the other [teams] are standing still."
Horner added that it was not until May's Spanish Grand Prix – the fifth round of the season – before Red Bull began to make up for lost ground.
"It took… really it was around the Melbourne time that we identified where the issue was," he said.
"And then [we had] to unravel that situation and focus on developing the car and relying on the results we were getting.
"It was really Barcelona by the time we started to see good progress.
"Ever since Barcelona, each Grand Prix we managed to be getting more and more performance onto the car, so I think we have made good progress during the first half of the year.
"We lost a lot of ground early on, but we're hoping for a much more competitive second half of the season."