Red Bull Racing broke Formula 1's curfew limit for the first time on Friday night ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix as team members worked extra hours to make setup changes to its car.
After a first day that had left Sebastian Vettel adamant that the team needed to raise its game, the team elected not to stop work during the restricted 2 a.m.-8 a.m. limit in a bid to improve its performance ahead of final practice and qualifying.
Teams are allowed four curfew exceptions during the season, the allowance having been put into the regulations in case outfits are forced to work late for unexpected repairs following accidents or reliability problems. Any team breaking the curfew for a fifth time will be punished.
Red Bull Racing's decision to break the curfew simply for car improvements could be viewed as evidence that the outfit is on the back foot against McLaren and Ferrari, which led the way on the opening day of practice.
Vettel, who had ended second free practice down in fifth place and half a second adrift of Lewis Hamilton, has said: "It seems to be very tight. McLaren and Ferrari are very quick so I think we need to raise our game to make sure that we will find ourselves at the top as well."