Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner says his squad can head to the final flyaway races in a positive mood after coming out of the Italian Grand Prix still looking strong in the championship.
The team had braced itself for its toughest weekend of the year with the long straights of Monza not ideal for its package. However, with title rival Lewis Hamilton crashing out, Sebastian Vettel's fourth place and Mark Webber's sixth were enough for it to actually improve its situation in both championships. Horner believes that the outcome has put his team in a good situation for tracks coming up that should suit its car.
"Monza for us represented our biggest challenge and the fact we have come out and outscored McLaren as a team is massively positive," said Horner. "There are tracks that should suit us, tracks that should be a bit more marginal between teams but hopefully not offset all our strengths."
Although Webber was frustrated after the race, having lost a chance to beat Vettel after losing time behind Nico Hulkenberg's Williams, Horner said the Australian should be ultimately happy with the impact the race had on the title standings.
"He was frustrated he didn't get more out of the race, particularly losing so much time behind Hulkenberg. But looking at the championship points on the way home, closing the European season as leader of the championship is a strong performance from him."
Horner also said that he was not too unhappy at seeing Hamilton throw away a great opportunity to stamp his authority on the title standings.
"You never like to see a competitor retire but I don't think there were too many tears in the Red Bull garage," he said about Hamilton's first-lap exit.
The only concern for Red Bull Racing, said Horner, was that its starts had once again not been very good – which had proved very costly on the first lap of the race.
"We need to look at it quite carefully because our starts at the beginning of the year were quite strong," he explained. "Over the last couple of races we have lost a bit of performance on the start line."