Red Bull parted ways with Renault last season after a tumultuous 12 months, one where their relationship reached new lows, as the Renault engine was suffering from severe performance and pace issues.
A decision was thus made to move on from Renault to Honda, as the data received from Toro Rosso post the Canadian GP was deemed good enough.
Now, reports earlier this week stated that Honda had suffered a setback in engine development as it was facing vibration issues.
Red Bull had responded to those reports yesterday, with Helmut Marko claiming that they were doing everything possible to sort out the issues.
If Honda was a woman, Red Bull would be saying how awesome she is having only seen photos of her. https://t.co/rRpvARWcpi
— Pablo Elizalde (@EliGP) January 8, 2019
Red Bull will receive a 'party mode' for the first time in 2019, according to Dr Helmut Marko.
— F1Today.net (@F1Today_net) January 8, 2019
Red Bull have already set things in motion to sort out the issues. Engine guru, Mario Illien has been recruited and drafted into the team in order to solve all the engine related issues.
“Appropriate measures were taken to solve the problem,” Marko said in a statement.
While the last few days have been those of paranoia for a lot of Red Bull fans, with reports of early engine troubles for Red Bull. However, Helmut Marko has now appeased all the tension and has actually given Red Bull fans something to rejoice about.
According to Marko, Honda is going to provide Red Bull with a ‘party mode’ for 2019 season, one that could put them on par with Mercedes and Ferrari.
“The figures make us really optimistic, also with regard to the increase in performance,” Marko said as quoted by Motorsport.com.
“For the first time we can also celebrate with a ‘party mode’!
“The Honda engine is already slightly above the Renault engine. If you combine our GPS data with the data provided by Honda, we’ll be in the Mercedes and Ferrari region.
“Of course they’re not sleeping either. But they are already at such a high level that they can no longer make such jumps.
“Even if we should be 10 or 15 kW behind, that was no different in our Renault era with the eight-cylinder engine. We can make up for that.” he added.
Marko though has let the fans know that Red Bull could once again be in for a season ridden with reliability issues.
He feels that the team won’t get through the season on 3 engines.
“We are aware that it will probably be difficult with reliability,” said Marko.
“Most probably we won’t be able to get through the season on three engines.
“But if you choose the right tracks, you can be back at the top in a few laps.That will be the concept, that we consciously accept engine penalties if necessary.” he added.
Marko clearly laid out that Red Bull were at a significant loss of power due to Renault last season.
That was probably the major reason why they decided to split from them and take a gamble with Honda.
“We were in the B category right from the start,” he said.
“We lacked up to 70bhp in qualifying.
“Depending on the race track it became less, but on average we were always at least 40bhp behind.
“Our GPS data clearly shows how much we lose on the straights and how much we win in the corners. When the Ferrari power was at its peak, the difference was even more extreme.” he added.