The Red Bull experience with Honda this year will be one of the most interesting stories of the year, with the performance of the Japanese power unit unknown yet.
Honda have struggled to produce a competitive engine since their return to Formula 1 with McLaren in 2015, and were dropped by the team in 2017.
Toro Rosso used the engine last season and the bosses at Red Bull were impressed enough that they decided to take the gamble to use the power unit for the main team this season.
However, Helmut Marko, advisor the Red Bull says that they are expecting reliability problems with the new engine.
He told Motorsport.com: “We are aware that it will probably be difficult with reliability.
“Most probably we won’t be able to get through the season on three engines.
“But if you choose the right tracks, you can be back at the top in a few laps.That will be the concept, that we consciously accept engine penalties if necessary.”
Marko also took the opportunity to have a final dig at Renault, the team’s previous engine supplier, with whom they won four consecutive drivers’ and constructors’ titles between 2010 and 2013.
“We were in the B category right from the start,” he said. “We lacked up to 70bhp in qualifying.
“Depending on the race track it became less, but on average we were always at least 40bhp behind.
“Our GPS data clearly shows how much we lose on the straights and how much we win in the corners. When the Ferrari power was at its peak, the difference was even more extreme.”
This kind of statement was a farcry from the boastful comments of Red Bull motorsport advisor Dr Helmut Marko. There were even talks of Honda providing a sort of ‘party mode’ which could help them take the fight to Ferrari and Mercedes.