Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner says he is not expecting a change in fortunes after Formula 1’s summer break.
The Milton-Keynes based outfit returned from the break last year and dominated the second half of the 2013 season, with Sebastian Vettel winning nine consecutive races.
However, the team’s run of success has failed to carry over to 2014, with six podium finishes – including one victory in Canada – from the first 10 races as Mercedes runs away with both championships.
Horner does not expect the team to make a considerable step forward after the mid-season pause. “In all honesty it’s probably unlikely,” he said in the Friday FIA press conference.
“If you look at the gap, it’s a significant gap. Last year was more of a level playing field on the power unit side. But obviously with the big regulation change it’s reshuffled things.
“Mercedes are doing a super job and they deserve to be in the position they are, they are in a position of real dominance, dominance we haven’t seen for a long, long time, where they keep scoring these one-two or one-three finishes and it’s a significant amount of performance to close down.
“But we’re keeping pushing, we’re keeping the hammer down and hopefully after the summer break we’ll have some circuits coming up that we will be able to get even closer to [them]. But I don’t think you’ll see a situation like we had last year.”
He also commented on rumours that several teams, like Mercedes and McLaren, have recently targeted Vettel. “No, Sebastian’s absolutely committed to the team, there’s no doubt at all that he’ll be with Red Bull next year and he’s enjoyed so much success with the team, he’s happy in the team and the team are very happy with him,” Horner explained.
“We know we’ve got a lot to do. None of us are comfortable or happy with the situation that we’re currently in – but, y’know, we’re in it together and we’ll work our way through it.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic