Ferrari have been a proper force to reckon with this year, with Vettel grabbing four victories so far and leading rival, Lewis Hamilton, by eight points in the championship after ten races, the latest being Silverstone.
Much of that success has to be credited to the improved Ferrari engine and Red Bull boss, Christian Horner, believes the same. He cited the terrific performances of the Haas and Sauber cars, who are Ferrari customers.
“I think it’s setting the benchmark now. Haas and Sauber as well have made good gains. We’re probably further outside”, stated the Briton.
The British Grand Prix was a struggle for the Red Bull team, with Max Verstappen retiring towards the end and the other car of Daniel Ricciardo just could not keep up with the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen and later in the race, the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas.
Horner appeared to contradict his statement of Ferrari being the best but quickly corrected himself to say that the development was what was lacking in the engines.
“You can see the situation between the engines is very similar at the moment, and it is all about the potential development. This weekend has been a very tough weekend for Renault [whose engines they are using currently]”, he said.
The Austrian team signed a deal with Honda to make the Japanese manufacturers their engine suppliers from 2019 onwards, and Horner said they were hopeful of the situation being better with them.
“It just very clearly defines where the level is at. You can’t hide behind the statistics we saw. There is a gap to fill and hopefully in Honda we have a lot of belief what they have coming in the pipeline.”
Horner was been one of the team bosses who has been very upfront with the media about the frailties of his team. The desire of quick results is a factor of any top team and Renault have themselves to blame for providing a poor product.