Red Bull is confident that its 2016 challenger will be ready in time for the first pre-season test in February, despite repeated delays in securing an engine supply for next season.
After terminating its contract with Renault, Red Bull entered into discussions with every manufacturer on the grid, but to no avail. Mercedes and Ferrari refused to supply engines on competitive grounds, while a deal with Honda was reportedly vetoed by McLaren Technology Group CEO Ron Dennis.
In light of the situation, the Austrian outfit has been forced to come up with alternative solutions, which may involve running unbranded Renault engines or an in-house power unit, based on what the French manufacturer has produced this year.
However, with time running out to finalise the chassis design for next year - which has to incorporate the power unit - Red Bull might start 2016 on a back foot, or might even fail to get its car ready by pre-season testing.
But Red Bull chief engineer Paul Monaghan is sure that his outfit will be present in Barcelona between February 22-25 with the RB12.
“No, in summary,’’ Monaghan was quoted during the Friday press conference. “We are working towards a deal and if one can be achieved, then that will be announced in time but we will still make it, don’t worry. “
Daniel Ricciardo was running the upgraded Renault engine on the back of his Red Bull today, but downplayed its significance, saying the power difference isn’t enough to the previous spec.
"I am sure the guys will look tonight and see if there are somethings to tune to get more power out of it," said Ricciardo. “The positive was it ran all day so we got laps and good information, but the power difference is not so much.
by Rachit Thukral