Red Bull wins boost McLaren's confidence
Red Bull's victories in the 2017 Formula 1 season have given McLaren confidence about what it can achieve when it starts using Renault engines next year, despite the reliability issues.
Renault was plagued by problems earlier in the year, and its works team, Red Bull and Toro Rosso all had further trouble during the last grand prix weekend in Mexico.
McLaren has ditched Honda for next year due to frustration at the engine's poor performance and reliability.
But team chiefs Eric Boullier and Zak Brown are adamant they have seen nothing in Renault's failures that makes them fear a repeat of their woes with Honda.
Instead they are encouraged by the fact that the Renault engine has helped Red Bull to win two of the last four races.
"Fixing reliability is a challenge, but it is always easier than finding performance," Boullier told Autosport.
"What I would like to take on board is that in Malaysia and Mexico, they were proper runaway wins.
"The Renault engine won two races in the last four races, and in a very fair and clean manner. So no concern at all."
Brown added: "They are pushing the envelope. They are turning up the power and when you turn up the power you increase the reliability risk. But I am not concerned about it."
Boullier acknowledged that Red Bull being back on top form added to McLaren's own challenge next year.
"They have definitely stepped up the last three races, and it is a good reference for McLaren now," he said.
"So we know who we have to beat next year."