Red Bull Racing says it takes some satisfaction from the way in which Sebastian Vettel dominated the early stages of the European Grand Prix, even though he eventually failed to finish the race.
Vettel was in a class of his own in the opening part of the Valencia race, building up a comfortable cushion over the pack and looking set to become Formula 1's first double winner of 2012. However, an alternator problem on his Renault engine forced him to retire, and handed title rival Fernando Alonso victory.
Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner said that Vettel's race showed how cruel motor racing could be, but said the team would return to its Milton Keynes, UK base reflecting on the positives of its weekend.
"It was very, very frustrating, but the comfort we must take out of Seb's performance was that he was in a class of his own today and he was in complete control," noted Horner. "He had tremendous pace, and we leave Valencia knowing that we have a quick car. Mark [Webber] very much demonstrated that, with his recovery from 19th on the grid to fourth on the road."
Red Bull Racing delivered a host of upgrades to its car in Valencia, which played a part in allowing Vettel to be so quick over the weekend. But despite the apparent scale of his advantage, Horner is unsure if it will be able to carry such an edge in to future races.
"I think we see form fluctuate circuit to circuit; but we have had three poles from the last three races and that is encouraging," he said. "We were in a commanding position here; tire degradation looked very low and we were able to match that of our nearest rivals this weekend; so on that side it has been positive.
"Obviously, it was very disappointing to have a DNF. I think it was the first mechanical retirement we have had since 2010, so that is disappointing. But together with Renault I am sure we will learn from it and hopefully we will not see a repeat."
Although disappointed to have seen 25 points slip through the team's grasp, Horner reckons that championship leader Alonso will probably also suffer some misfortune this campaign for the Valencia result not to be the crucial factor in the title battle.
"It is a long championship. Fernando has done a tremendous job, he has scored in every single race but statistics say that he has to have one bad weekend in 20. It will hopefully balance itself out over the course of the season.
"Sure it was disappointing to retire from a lead like that, but others had difficult days as well. Lewis did not finish, and we have extended our lead in the Constructors' Championship by a further eight points. So we leave Valencia with a positive weekend on a whole despite not achieving the maximum points we deserved."