LONDON, England - Red Bull might win races in 2015 but, says championship-winning designer Adrian Newey, cannot realistically expect to mount a Formula 1 title challenge.
RED BULL IN DISGUISE: Daniel Ricciardo tests Red Bull's camouflaged racer during 2015 F1 Testing at the Jerez circuit, Spain. Image: AP / Miguel Morenatti
Newey, who has stepped back from his full-time role as technical chief, explained in an interview published by Red Bull: "We should be realistic about our expectations.”
He believed 2015 would be about trying to reduce the power deficit the team’s cars had at times the previous year.
THREE WINS IN 2014
Newey said: "If we can manage the odd win, as we did in 2014 that would be fantastic - but we can't count on it. It's really a season that will be very much about trying to extract the most we can and build on it."
Red Bull won three races in 2014, Mercedes 16, so relinquished the Drivers' and Constructors' titles held for four consecutive years.
The 2014 season introduced a V6 turbo/hybrid “power unit” with Mercedes emerging as the pick of the field while Red Bull's power partner Renault struggled with reliability and performance.
Renault is hoping to close a gap that Newey estimated was 45kW at the end of 2014 but Mercedes, of course, has also been working hard on its motive power.
Newey explained: "The pace of development, because of the technology, is slower than on the chassis side. Renault has a challenge ahead, which I'm confident it will meet, but needs time to achieve it."
Red Bull was second overall in 2014 with drivers Daniel Ricciardo and four-times champion Sebastian Vettel; the latter has now with Ferrari. Russian Daniil Kvyat is Vettel’s replacement.
The 2015 racing season will start in Melbourne, Australia, on March 15.Stay with Wheels24 for the 2015 F1 season – fresh reports every day.