Red Bull Racing says its priority in the Italian Grand Prix is to just bring both its cars home in the points as it awaits the return of tracks that will suit its package better.
The long straights and low-downforce nature of Monza had always been pinpointed as the toughest venue of the season for the team, and it duly delivered its worst qualifying performance of the season so far. With Red Bull expecting a similarly tough time in the race, team principal Christian Horner thinks that the ambitions will be at a lower level to what they have been at other venues.
"Our target obviously is to give as harder time to the McLarens and Ferraris as we can," he said. "If we can keep Lewis [Hamilton] behind Mark [Webber] that would be a fantastic result, but I think the key is to make sure that we finish and get some points – that is the number one objective.
"It can get fairly busy down at the first couple of turns, so we just need to keep the nose clean and hopefully bring home some vital points."
Although Red Bull Racing failed to qualify on the front row of the grid for the first time this season, Horner said he was actually encouraged by where they ended up.
"I think we feel quite surprised that we have managed to get ahead of a McLaren on the grid," he said. "Mark produced an excellent final lap, but the Ferraris had tremendous pace – and the lap time that Fernando did we were never going to be able to challenge with the package that we have at a circuit like this. So fourth and sixth at a track you can overtake at is a pretty positive result, especially considering where the other championship protagonists are.
"We knew coming here on paper it was our worst circuit. You only have to look at the size of the rear wings the other cars are running, and look at the straight-line performance, to understand what the important ingredients at a circuit like this are."
Horner added that he was hopeful that the reliability problems that had affected Webber in practice – a sensor fault in FP2 and an airbox fire in FP3 – were not causes for concern in the race.
"It is always in the back of your mind, but our reliability record compared to others has been very strong this year," he said. "So we are hopeful that the problems that we have seen won't be repeated in the race."