Red Bull in ‘much better position’ than in recent seasons

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Red Bull head of race engineering Guillaume Rocquelin believes that the team is in a stronger position than it has been at this point in recent seasons after Formula 1 testing in Barcelona.

Red Bull endured its worst season since 2008 last year as drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat scored just three podiums in total, taking the team to fourth in the constructors’ championship.

Issues with the Renault power unit have hurt Red Bull over the past two seasons, but Rocquelin thinks that the team is in a better place as it prepares to head into the 2016 campaign.

“We are in a much better position at this point than we have been over the past couple of seasons,” Rocquelin said. “The drivers are happy with the balance of the car, we so far have good reliability and we are happy with all the systems and procedures we need to get right.

“I think we can be satisfied with the work we’ve done during these two weeks and be happy with where we’re at. The team will go to Melbourne in a good frame of mind. As for what the pecking order is, well, we’ll all find out on Saturday in Melbourne.”

Neither Ricciardo nor Kvyat led any of the eight test days in Barcelona, but Rocquelin is unconcerned, saying that Red Bull was not focusing on the optimum lap time in pre-season.

“These tests have always been about to figure out everything we can about the car in order to put us in a position where we can race it in Melbourne or Bahrain or anywhere else,” Rocquelin said.

“It hasn’t been about chasing lap time, which in these conditions is pointless. It’s been about building a platform we can build from and this year I think we have done that.”

The 2016 Formula 1 season begins on March 20 in Australia.