Red Bull F1 team focused on 'damage limitation' for now
|By Jonathan Noble||Monday, April 7th 2014, 11:42 GMT|
Red Bull has admitted that its 2014 Formula 1 title hopes are going to be locked in damage limitation mode until Renault improves its engine.
Although Red Bull just missed out on another podium finish in the Bahrain Grand Prix, as Daniel Ricciardo finished fourth and Sebastian Vettel sixth, the gap to Mercedes left it in no doubt about the advantage the winning team has right now.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner said: "I think for the first time we have seen their proper pace when they have gone for it - and they are not hanging about.
"This track was always going to be a Mercedes-engine [favouring] circuit and it is no coincidence that at one point there were seven Mercedes running in the top eight."
Red Bull is hoping that Renault can makes steps to improve the energy recovery characteristics of its power unit before Mercedes has pulled too far clear.
But even so, Horner was pleased that Red Bull could still secure a decent haul of points at a track that played to the power-advantage of the Mercedes teams.
"We have got the most out of what we could here this weekend," said Horner. "For Daniel to come so close to getting on the podium having started 13th was a phenomenal drive.
"Seb has had a tough afternoon, and it has not been a strong weekend for him. He had issues in qualifying, and he felt the car was down on straightline speed in the race.
"So to actually get some points on the board is in many ways damage limitation.
"But we can also draw encouragement because we were pretty competitive at the end of the race there, particularly with Daniel.
"But it is a not insignificant gap that we have to close to the Mercedes."