Red Bull Racing remains bullish on title chances
Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner is adamant his drivers still have every chance of beating Jenson Button to the World Championship this year, despite the Brawn GP racer’s advantage following the Monaco Grand Prix.
Button scored his fifth win in six races in Monte Carlo, leading teammate Rubens Barrichello to the third one-two of the season for Brawn. The British team is now 43.5 points ahead of Red Bull, with Button 28 in front of third-placed Sebastian Vettel, who failed to score in Monaco. Teammate Mark Webber finished a distant fifth as Red Bull failed to show the same kind of pace that has made it Brawn’s main contenders.
Horner claims the team knew Monaco was not going to suit its car, but expects the situation to return to normal at faster circuits. He is also adamant that it’s still early in the season, and that his drivers can still catch Button if the Briton slips.
“I think that we always expected that this track was not going to feature as our strongest circuit,” said Horner. “The Brawn has always been good at this type of track, and Ferrari has definitely made progress over the last couple of races. So it will be interesting when we go to Istanbul and Silverstone. Theoretically they are tracks that should come to the characteristics of our car.
“We’re still reasonably early in the season. They’ve got a very good lead in the constructors’, the drivers’ ... a couple of bad races for Jenson, a couple of wins for Sebastian or Mark, can bring them right back into contention.”
Horner suggested the introduction of the double-decker diffuser last weekend was somewhat of a distraction for the team, but he is convinced it has helped boost the performance of the car.
“Well, it was a lot of hard work, and a big effort from all the boys in the garage – they’ve not seen their bed for too many hours this weekend. And also back at Milton Keynes. But we can see that it has put aero performance on the car,” he added.
The Red Bull boss also admitted he was not surprised to see Ferrari emerge as Brawn’s main rivals in Monaco, but he feels Webber could have beaten its drivers had he not lost time in traffic.
“They’ve taken a big chunk of points this weekend. They were never going to stay asleep for too long,” Horner said of Ferrari. “There were signs that they’d woken up in Barcelona and for sure 11 points on the board here is a good team result for them.
“But we pushed them hard. Without being held up by Kovalainen, perhaps we could have got them at the final stop. Their car and the KERS has worked surprisingly well around here.”