Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes the performance gap between Formula 1’s leading three teams and the midfield pack has been reduced heading into the 2020 season.

With relatively stable regulations across the winter, F1 teams have found yet more performance gains heading into the new campaign, with lap times tumbling at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya during pre-season testing.

Thanks to their respective strong pre-season tests, it has been suggested that the likes of Racing Point, McLaren and Renault could have cut the deficit to the leading trio of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull in 2020.

Asked if Red Bull is worried about the early signs coming from the midfield teams, Horner replied: “I think the gap has [closed].

“That happens with continuous regulations and when you have stability the designs converge and some of those converge closer than others

“I think it is inevitable that the grid will consortia a little bit which is healthy for Formula 1. The most important thing for us is to converge that gap with Mercedes, that is our target as they are the absolute benchmark.”

Red Bull is aiming to turn in a greater challenge against Mercedes and Ferrari for the 2020 world championships in the second year of its engine partnership with Honda, and Horner is confident his side is in a better position compared to 12 months ago.

"We’ve done a lot considering each driver only gets three days in the car going into the first GP,” Horner said.

“It is very little time but we’ve managed to cram into that time and been productive, so compared to 12 months ago our mileage is up significantly and it feels we are better prepared going into the season ahead than we were 12 months ago.

“The relationship between ourselves and Honda is more mature and the regulations have been stable and there has been continuity over the winter with those regs so I think we are in reasonable shape.”

 

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