(Jean Michel Le Meur/ DPPI for Renuault Sport F1)
Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner believes that next weekend's Canadain Grand Prix in Montreal will give the reigning world champions a real indication as to the progress they have made in recent weeks.
In the last two Grand Prix in Barcelona and last weekend in Monaco, Daniel Riccardo has emerged as the main on track challenger to the Mercedes pair of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton with the Australian having picked up to consecutive podium finishes with third place in Spain and Monaco to move into fourth place in driver's championship on 54 point's just seven behind Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.
Despite being classed as a street circuit, Montreal has a number of high speed straights with heavy braking zones and this will play into the hand of Mercedes who have won every Grand Prix so far this season and have been able to stretch their legs at circuits such as Barcelona Circuit de Catalunya and the Shanghai International circuit.
Speaking to Crash.net, Christian Horner said:
'Montreal is going to be a challenging race for us and it will be interesting to see how we fare there. We were much, much closer, it was the first time we've raced Mercedes this year [in Monaco] and Dan's pace; particularly in the last third of the race he was the quickest car on the track. So I think we take a lot of confidence out of that.'
Horner went on to say:
'But you go from one extreme to the other. [Monaco] is all about handling characteristics and the next event will be predominantly straight-line performance. So it's going to be very interesting to see how we fare against Mercedes-powered teams in Montreal.'
The last two Grand Prix have seen the Milton Keynes based outfit collected 42 point's which is exactly the same number of point's that they scored in in the two previous event's in China and Bahrain.
There have been reports in recent days that the team are on the hunt for a new engine supplier with Volkswagen being linked with a move into Formula One however the German manufacturer has been linked to Formula One before and has had no comment on the latest speculation which is exactly what it is after all the Red Bull/Renault partnership has been the most successful in recent Formula One history added to the fact that their sister team Toro Rosso are also powered by Renault.
Dr Helmut Marko, Red Bull's motorsport adviser has revealed that the team will make a decision about their future engine supplier following next months Austrian Grand Prix.
©Ben Johnston 2014