Red Bull Racing's technical chief Adrian Newey believes the team is still losing out because F1's engine freeze rules leave its Renault V8 at a disadvantage, even though the squad swept to this year's championship.
Although no engine development is allowed under the current rules, some adjustments have been permitted to allow teams whose homologated engines appear less powerful than their rivals to regain ground. Renault has been granted dispensation to slightly upgrade its engine in the past, but Newey feels his team is still at a power disadvantage.
"The engine freeze is certainly a big problem for us," Newey said during today's title celebrations in Austria. "We know that one or two other engines have got a frozen-in advantage and I very much hope that we can redress that, because as long as it stays that way, there is no right of reply.
"And the engine is a very big part of the formula. It's the usual key things – you have to have the right drivers, the right engine and the right chassis, and it's that combination. But we'll carry on doing our job. It's all we can do."
He admitted that he was not optimistic that teams could unanimously agree on adjusting the engine balance
"One engine manufacturer who is definitely out ahead seems to be completely unwilling to enter into negotiations to allow a little bit more equality," Newey said.
The former Williams and McLaren design boss believes Red Bull would still have been struggling to break out of the midfield but for the major changes to the aerodynamic and tire rules for the starts of 2009.
"I think certainly what gave us a break at the start of last year was the big regulation change, because where we had gotten to with very stable regulations, from really the early 1990s, or even the early 1980s, to 2008, was really an iteration game and a question of resources, and our resources weren't as much as some of our rivals and still aren't. But we've been able to out-think them in some ways and come up with a good package and develop it sensibly. I think that's given us some momentum now," Newey added.