Adrian Newey energised by Honda for F1 2019, say Red Bull
Horner explains how early promise of Red Bull's new engine partner has "really motivated" their legendary designer
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 08/03/19 11:16am
Red Bull boss Christian Horner believes Adrian Newey has been inspired by Honda's arrival at the team for the 2019 Formula 1 season.
Having fallen behind Mercedes and Ferrari in the hybrid turbo engine era, Red Bull believe their move to effective works status with Honda engines will increase their chances of beating their biggest two rivals in future seasons.
The new partnership enjoyed an encouraging pre-season and Horner says Newey, the team's revered designer, has been energised by the collaboration.
"The engine change has stimulated the whole team - and particularly Adrian," Horner told Sky Sports News.
"He sees that the engine is now getting closer and closer to the performance of the front-running teams. That's really motivated him and he's working very hard with all the guys and girls back in Milton Keynes.
"Hopefully we can look forward to a good season. Our job is to close that gap to Ferrari and Mercedes."
Where will Red Bull be in Melbourne?
Although a crash and reliability trouble compromised Red Bull's end to pre-season at Barcelona last week, the former world champions head to next week's season-opener in Australia optimistic they have made progress.
"It's clear Ferrari after the second test look very strong," said Horner.
"Mercedes are going to be there or thereabouts, they're the reigning world champions so they're not going to be slacking.
"I think we have definitely closed that gap. We will see not just in Melbourne, because that's a little bit of a unique track, but look over the first three races and then ask me again then how we're faring."
Newey's 'dream' becomes reality
Horner was speaking at the prestigious Geneva Motor Show, where Aston Martin's Newey-designed Valkyrie hypercar was revealed after several years of design and planning.
After turning down a big-money offer to join Ferrari in 2014, Newey has since dovetailed his time between F1 and wider projects undertaken by Red Bull Advanced Technologies, such as the 1,000 brake-horsepower Valkyrie.
"It's the realisation of three years of hard work taking Adrian's uncompromising design and incorporating it into a beautiful Aston Martin," said Horner.
"It's a very proud moment for us. It was Adrian's dream, we didn't know how we were going to achieve it, and then together with Aston… this is the result. They are all sold and it's the start of a family of cars that are going to be announced."Sky Sports F1 is the home of live and exclusive F1 - and new and existing customers in the UK can now get the channel for just £10 extra a month, our best-ever offer. Find out more here to watch the 2019 season live