Red Bull Racing chief Christian Horner has admitted that his squad will face a difficult start to the 2016 season, following lengthy negotiations to secure a power unit.
Red Bull spent much of 2015 seeking a new engine deal after it publically fell out with Renault. With neither of its options coming to fruition, it eventually had to renew its deal with the French manufacturer.
The lengthy discussions hindered development on the chassis side, and Horner doesn’t expect the engine to be much better than it was last year.
"[2015 was] a different challenge and we haven't lost any major team members," Horner said, giving a lowdown of the season that just went by.
"The team have done a tremendous job of getting their head down and focusing on the chassis. And the chassis was developed and developed through the year, and I believe we've got a very strong chassis.
“We're just going to have to tread water for a moment until we get ourselves back onto the front foot and our time will come again."
Red Bull have been used to winning in Formula 1, having won consecutive titles between 2010 and 2013. Although it remained eluded of a victory last season, Horner believes a difficult time brought the team ‘closer than it’s ever been’.
"Sometimes it brings a group closer together and I feel the team is tighter and closer than it's ever been," he said. "So actually I don't, from a team perspective, think it was a bad year. We've been very strong on strategy, our pit stops have been the best in the pitlane.”
by Rachit Thukral