Red Bull will bring “modest updates” to the 2020 Formula 1 season-opening Australian Grand Prix, according to team principal Christian Horner.

The Milton Keynes squad is looking to take the title fight to Mercedes this season in its second campaign powered by Honda engines, following its impressive gains made in 2019.

Max Verstappen, who claimed three victories on his way to third place in the championship last year, enjoyed a strong day of running in Red Bull’s RB16 on the opening day of pre-season testing at Barcelona on Wednesday, leaving Horner optimistic.

“I think the teams will bring their race one packages next week,” Horner said.

“We have some modest updates for Melbourne and then it’s incremental development at every grand prix, you are trying to bring something to enhance performance. 

“The correlation between what we are seeing on track and on the dynos is looking spot on.

“That side is encouraging. It’s always easy to get drawn into the timesheets early on in testing and it will move around a lot by the time we get to Melbourne.”

From his early observations, Horner reckons Mercedes will once again prove the team to beat in 2020, adding the reigning world champion squad “looks strong” straightaway at Barcelona.

“Mercedes look strong,” he explained. “They were always going to be strong and are the reigning six-time world champions.

“They are the benchmark and their car looks strong out there. Ferrari was difficult to gauge yesterday, Racing Point looked good on track but it’s difficult to know what everyone is doing so we’re not paying too much attention to the timing sheet this week.

“We are looking to improve performance everywhere and Mercedes were good in that slow speed performance last year,” he added.

“It was one area that we needed to improve and I think we have made steps. This is just the start of a process and the car will evolve from this point onwards.

“It will be different by the time we come to Melbourne and when we get to Europe. It’s a development race to Abu Dhabi.”

 

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