Red Bull thinks it unlikely that a single Formula 1 team will dominate this season, as it expects a repeat of last year's fluctuating form.
After a 2012 campaign in which Red Bull, McLaren, Lotus and Ferrari enjoyed periods of pace-setting speed, early testing form is already pointing toward a similarly close battle at the front of the field. Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes that there will be a repeat situation in 2013, with the form book being shuffled around at different tracks.
"I think it will be a case of different circuits suiting different cars," explained Horner. "Last year the significant blown diffuser change had a large impact on our early season performance. As a team, we optimized our performances where our car was sub-optimal, focused on developing the car and, when we got the opportunity, we grabbed it with both hands and delivered when it mattered.
"I think this season will be another where it will to and fro; there are four or five teams capable of winning and it will be down to teams and drivers to do the most consistent job from race one to 19.
"On days you can't win, the third, fourth, and fifth places become so important. You have to make sure you get the maximum possible from each weekend."
Red Bull is chasing a fourth consecutive World Championship double this season, and Horner says there is no sense of his team nor Sebastian Vettel getting complacent about what it will take to continue the streak.
"The last three years have been phenomenal," he said. "To win six World Championships within three years is something quite remarkable. There's only three other teams to have won three consecutive constructors' titles in Formula 1 history, so we're extremely motivated to try and retain both those titles. And we'll do our best to try and achieve that.
"But we'd be foolish to sit here and underestimate the caliber of our opponents, both drivers and teams. Both 2010 and last year went down to the wire, and I'm sure this year will be a very close and tough season."