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Red Bull competitiveness 'very much in Renault's hands'

ESPN Staff
May 27, 2014 « Mercedes drivers 'a little bit like teenagers' - Wolff | Red Bull still title contenders - Vettel »
Christian Horner believes Red Bull is "nibbling into the gap to Mercedes" © Getty Images

Red Bull says its competitiveness at upcoming races is in the hands of engine supplier Renault as Formula One heads to more power-dependent tracks.

Daniel Ricciardo was able to challenge Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes for position for the first time this year at Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix, but it was on a track where performance is less dependent on power and the strengths of the RB10 chassis could shine through. In two weeks Formula One will go to Canada and the long straights of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal where the power unit will play a bigger part in competitiveness.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner thinks the only way his team can consistently challenge Mercedes at the upcoming races is if Renault improves its power unit.

"We're very much in Renault's hands," he said. "We are making progress, they are making progress and Total on the fuel side is making progress, but really we are now where we should have been in January. There's still a long way to go and Mercedes obviously aren't standing still. But we are only at race six. There's still a long way to go in this championship.

"We're clearly the second quickest team at the moment and we are nibbling into that gap to Mercedes. It's nothing short of commitment, hard work and clever design that is going to close that gap."

Horner is no doubt that Montreal will be difficult for Red Bull.

"Montreal is going to be a challenging race and it'll be interesting to see how we fare there. Renault are working hard behind the scenes and we were much, much closer [in Monaco] and it was the first time we have raced Mercedes. Dan [Ricciardo]'s pace - particularly in the last third of the race - he was the quickest car on the track. I think we take a lot of confidence out of that, but you are going from one extreme to another, Monaco is all about handling characteristics and the next event is predominantly straight-line performance. It will be interesting to see how we fare against the Mercedes-powered teams in Montreal."

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