Sebastian Vettel has urged his Red Bull Racing team to respond as quickly as it can to Fernando Alonso's victory in the British Grand Prix, ahead of what he thinks will be a crucial stage of the championship.
A major update on the Ferrari car, allied to the changes in the blown diffuser regulations for Silverstone, ended the Maranello-based team's victory drought and delivered fresh hope that it could yet stop Red Bull Racing from romping away to the world title.
Vettel thinks that his chiefs should not just brush aside Alonso's success as the result of weather and circumstance, and instead he thinks it needs to work hard to bring improvements over the next few races in a bid to kill off Ferrari's title hopes fully.
"It was a tough race and Ferrari was very quick, Fernando in particular, and they beat us," said Vettel in a post race video interview with Red Bull. "We need to accept it, and to understand when you get beaten you have to accept it. It was a lesson to learn, and it is up to us now to refocus and make sure that we come back with stronger performance for the next couple of races. It is a very important time now for the championship.
"We are in a good position still, but we need to keep working on ourselves because otherwise the others come too close for our liking."
Alonso is still 92 points behind Vettel in the standings, but it would only take a short run of bad luck for Red Bull Racing to start feeling threatened by the Spaniard.
Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner says there was no doubt at Silverstone that there were times during the race when Alonso was the fastest car on the track.
"It was a race of two halves," he said. "On inters we seemed to be very strong and through the middle phase of the grand prix we seemed to be OK. But then the balance seemed to shift during the second half of the race. Potentially, as the fuel loads got lighter or as the circuit rubbered in, Ferrari's pace picked up and Fernando's pace was obviously very strong.
"As we see with these tires there is obviously a sweet spot, but we were running in a [blown diffuser] configuration this weekend that we have not previously been in."