Red Bull Racing says there is no panic in its ranks about another victory slipping through its grasp, after a wheel failure pitched Sebastian Vettel out of the Australian Grand Prix.
Just two weeks after Vettel was denied a win in Bahrain by a spark plug failure, the German suffered another frustration as a wheel problem forced him out of the Melbourne event. Having started both races from pole position and been leading when he hit trouble, Vettel could easily have had 50 points at the head of the World Championship table. However, he is down in seventh place in the standings on just 12 points – already 20 behind early leader Fernando Alonso.
Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner conceded that the team is deeply disappointed with the turn of events, which mirrors last year's frustrations when Red Bull failed at times to turn a car advantage into hard results. But he said everyone was calm about the situation.
"Don't panic – it is a long season," said Horner. "We know we have got a fast car and I would far rather have a fast car than a slow car. We've had two pole positions. We should have been sitting on 50 points and Sebastian is sitting on 12. But there is still a long way to go and the season will have many different twists and turns.
"I think he [Vettel] has got complete trust and confidence in the car. He has been massively fast all weekend. Unfortunately, a reliability issue has cost him a race win this weekend, but he will be back very strong in a week's time."
Horner said the team was able to keep its disappointment in check because of the performance advantage that the RB6 has shown in the first two races of the year, especially in qualifying form.
"Starting first and second on the grid, the whole team is pretty pissed off to have only come away with two points," he said. "But we will brush ourselves down. We take away from here the confidence that again we have a very fast car, and we will work hard on whatever the problem is that caused this issue. We will be stronger in a week's time."
Horner was also bullish that the unprecedented failures that have cost Vettel big points in the first two races are not a sign that Red Bull is facing a repeat of its race day problems from last year.
"I don't think we've ever seen this failure before. We need to understand it first," he said. "The pit stop execution was strong and other teams will have other issues at different points of the year. We haven't had one driver go out and dominate, the dominant car so far is ours and it is important that in one race's time we score some big points."
When asked if he felt the team could be as strong in Malaysia as it was in Australia, he said: "I see no reason why not. Aero is something we are good at."