Red Bull need consistent reliability as well as Sergio Perez to be on the pace if they are to challenge Mercedes for the Constructors’ World Championship this year.

Those are the two big factors ex-F1 driver Jolyon Palmer has cited following the Bahrain Grand Prix, from which Red Bull emerged with an initial 13-point deficit to Mercedes.

That was despite Max Verstappen entering the weekend as favourite and starting from pole position. The Dutchman was ahead in the early stages, but after the pit-stops found himself behind Sir Lewis Hamilton and ultimately finished a close second – having had to give back the lead following an overtake deemed illegal for exceeding track limits.

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