Date: 29th March 2016 at 9:44am
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Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner believes his team could struggle up against sister team Toro Rosso in Bahrain.

The knock on affect of Red Bull Racing’s engine row in 2015 meant that for 2016, the two teams will run different engines. Following a very late decision by Red Bull team owners towards the end of 2015.

Red Bull Racing will continue with Renault power, but will be branded as Tag-Heuer, whilst Toro Rosso will run with 2015 specification Ferrari power-units.

That decision left Toro Rosso up against it to be ready in time for the winter testing, but the advantage has been running with an established and quick Ferrari engine.

‘The Toro Rosso cars you can see are fast, particularly over a single lap, Lewis [Hamilton] couldn’t pass a Toro Rosso on the straight, he passed us a little easier than he did those guys. Red Bull boss Christian Horner told motorsport.com.

‘You can see they’ve got a competitive car, and we expect them to be, as predicted pre-season, quick, certainly in the first half of the year before upgrades start to kick in.’

The downside of running a 2015 specification engine will be that Ferrari will not be spending any money or time developing that power-unit.

The performance and reliability of that engine will be stagnant throughout the year, what you see is what you get for the remainder of 2016.

But for everyone else, Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and Honda, those manufacturers will develop their engines throughout the year and that likely performance improvements will see Toro Rosso slip behind towards the latter half of the season.