Mercedes executive director (business) Toto Wolff says Red Bull is still the benchmark for his team and expects it to bounce back from its testing issues.
Red Bull struggled at the first test in Jerez, completing just 21 laps in total due to problems with the packaging of its new car and further issues with the new Renault power unit. However, Wolff doesn't feel that the setbacks are likely to hurt Red Bull too much and says Mercedes is still trying to judge its own competitiveness against what the reigning constructors' champions can produce.
“It's not good for Formula One that a manufacturer is in trouble, but I am sure that they will come back strongly - hopefully a bit less than before,” Wolff is quoted as saying by The Mirror
“First, they have an outstanding driver (in Sebastian Vettel). Secondly, they have put together a group of people that work very well. Thirdly, they have the resources from the parent company. So there's no reason that Red Bull will not once again be the benchmark.”
With Renault enjoying some trouble-free running during a filming day with Lotus last weekend, Daniel Ricciardo has since said he feels Red Bull has made “quite a bit of progress”