Red Bull braced for slow start to F1 season

Wed Feb 17, 2016 4:08pm EST
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - Red Bull unveiled a new look for a new era on Wednesday, with a warning that hardly lifted Daniel Ricciardo's heart as the Australian driver gears up for the start of the Formula One season in Melbourne next month.

"It's going to be a season of evolution for us," principal Christian Horner told reporters at the launch of the team's 2016 livery and Puma-designed apparel.

"It's probably going to be a season of two halves. The first half is going to be less competitive than the second but we are expecting to make significant progress during the year."

Ricciardo, who won three races in 2014, suffered last year when his team finished fourth overall with no victories.

The driver accepted that the situation would still be difficult.

"I think it's sensible, rather than getting us excited for nothing," he said. "If you come out in Melbourne and Christian and everyone is saying 'it's awesome and the aerodynamics and everything...' and then it doesn't work, it's demoralizing.

"I think it's realistic that we will need a bit of time to make strong improvements from last year."

Winners of four drivers' and constructors' titles between 2010 and 2013, Red Bull's relations with Renault frayed badly last year as their engine proved underpowered compared to champions Mercedes and Ferrari.   Continued...

Red Bull Formula One Driver Daniel Ricciardo of Australia drives during the qualifying session of Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi, November 28, 2015. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah