Horner: RB14 was arguably the strongest chassis in 2018

Published on 22 Dec 2018 15:36

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes that Red Bull had arguably the strongest chassis in the field during the 2018 season. The energy drink-backed outfit was not in contention for the title, placing the blame on its power unit, developed by Renault.

Red Bull managed to secure four wins last season, the most its ever had in the turbo hybrid era. However, its relationship with Renault reached tearing point, with the two ending their partnership at the end of the year.

Red Bull was mostly never in contention for pole position on Saturdays, bar a handful of exceptions, but found itself with strong race pace in the second half of the year, leading Horner to believe that the RB14 trumped Mercedes and Ferrari's cars.

"I think [the] RB14 was a very strong car," he told Autosport. "Arguably it's the strongest chassis of the season. If you were to equalise the power between the top three teams I think you'd see that [the] RB14 has been an extremely good race car.

"Look at whenever the power unit [wasn't] a factor, or as predominant a factor. We won in Monaco even with an MGU-K failure, we were second in Singapore, we won in Mexico again when altitude played a key role. Those races we [were] particularly strong in.

"Obviously we tended to run lower downforce levels to try and create the same top speeds, and as soon as you try to trim wing to do that you introduce other compromises into the handling of the car. But when we [were] able to run full spec, we should have had a front-row lock-out in Monaco, and we had one in Mexico."

Red Bull will take on Honda power units next year in a fresh challenge to get itself into title contention. While Max Verstappen stays for a fourth consecutive year, he will be joined by Pierre Gasly, who replaces Renault-bound Daniel Ricciardo.

Replies (5)
SE calle.itw 22 Dec 2018 17:360
Posts: 5898
*Bored sigh*, Yes Horner, yes it was arguably the best, and I currently have the arguably best F1 related drinking game. Your point is what again? And being second in Singapore aint necessarily an impressive thing. Yes, the PU acted up on ya again, but Singapore is a race you guys should dominate. One relatively short straight and lots of winding corners just shouts Red Bull to me.

Red Bull being capable of bringing some rad chassis designs aint news. What is news for me is that they seem to have learned from their earlier mistakes, and started 2018 very strong from the get go, whereas they've earlier tended to have pretty slow starts.
US Ram Samartha 23 Dec 2018 18:400
Posts: 312
Yep, agree. When was the last time a team with Newey didn't have the best chassis? Uh, when he went away for awhile to work on boat design. It looked like a joke last season when they revealed their car. Next year they will be more like a factory team than they ever have been so the potential is there relationship wise but it's hard to imagine the Honda engine being competitive with the Mercs or Ferraris.
Posts: 339
Honda have to come to the party on par with MB or Ferrari for RB to get a title. MB and Ferrari are at and nearly at the top of their game respectively and likely stay there whilst they build chassis’s and engines. If Honda don’t match the engine game RB won’t get back on top. IMO as an engine customer (of a maunufacturer team) you’ll not get to beat your supplier at their own game. Was McLaren’s strategy but it didn’t work. If Honda can’t get there, dig deep and fund your own engine.
US mcbhargav 23 Dec 2018 01:250
Posts: 800
First, i dont think RB had the beat chassis across 2018. A poor engine makes a chassis look better than it is. Whats the point in having a good chassis, if the whole package is inferior.
SE calle.itw 23 Dec 2018 07:290
Posts: 5898
I dont think that applies in this case. We've seen again and again how RB have outperformed other Renault teams, even the works team, and they've been able to overtake more powerful cars where other Renaults couldnt. If it isnt the best, its at least no 2. It was different for McLaren during 2016 and 2017, where it was very apparent that the talk about the best chassis was BS.

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