Red Bull Racing’s hopes of taking the fight to Mercedes from the start of the 2020 F1 World Championship season have been boosted after Honda confirmed it will kick off the belated season with an upgraded engine.

Though Mercedes seemingly had the edge over the competition heading to the erstwhile season opener in Australia back in March, the prolonged break has thrown best laid predictions out of the window with the initial run of races – two in Austria, one in Hungary and two at Silverstone – overall appearing to better favour Red Bull.

With Mercedes confirming it has been busy updating its package before it has even started a race, Red Bull and engine supplier Honda have been similarly hard at work behind the scenes.

As a result, Honda will be bringing a refreshed power unit to Austria for the team’s home event, the first of two to be held on consecutive weekends at the Red Bull Ring.

The 2020 F1 season will mark Red Bull and Honda’s second season in collaboration and hopes are high it can build on a positive campaign in 2019, which included victory in the Austrian Grand Prix for Max Verstappen.

Speaking after Red Bull completed its filming day at Silverstone complete with a number of new parts as well, team principal Christian Horner believes the team is prepared for whatever the already unusual season can throw at them.

“As a trial run this has been great for the Team to enable them to get used to these procedures, which are a little bit foreign, but which are vitally important.

“By the time we get to Austria, these procedures will be the new normal and today ensures that everybody knows what’s expected of them when we get to Austria. It’s important for the safety of our Team and everyone around us in Formula One.”