Formula One: Red Bull upbeat about chasing Mercedes for honours with a new car

JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA, Spain (AFP) - Red Bull team principal Christian Horner wants to give Mercedes more of a run for their money in 2015 after launching the new RB11 on the season's first day of testing in Jerez on Sunday.

Sporting an unusual camouflage livery, the Red Bull completed more laps in the first hour on track than they managed on the first day of a disastrous first test last season.

That was a sign of things to come for the four-time constructors' champions as despite finishing second, they were nearly 300 points behind Mercedes, for whom Lewis Hamilton sealed his second world championship.

"Our target is simple: to close down the gap to Mercedes yet further," said Horner.

"We were the only team other than Mercedes to win a grand prix in 2014 and we won three with Daniel Ricciardo.

"We know what we're aiming at, we know what we need to achieve and I believe that with the RB11, with the drivers we have and with the new structures put in place, we should be able to do that."

Ricciardo's debut season with the team was the bright spark in 2014 as he beat four-time world champion team-mate Sebastian Vettel to finish third in the drivers' standings.

With Vettel having moved on to Ferrari, 20-year-old Russian Daniil Kyvat will partner Ricciardo this season.

Said Horner: "We know the quality of Daniel following his performances last year and in Daniil, we have an outstanding talent. The speed, commitment and determination he demonstrated were all the qualities we're looking for.

"They're young, hungry, they're incredibly quick and I think they are going to push each other very hard throughout the year."

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.