Red Bull says every race a final now
|By Jonathan Noble||Friday, September 4th 2009, 10:51 GMT|
Red Bull Racing must now treat every race like a World Cup Final if it is going to beat rivals Brawn GP to the title.
That is the view of team principal Christian Horner, who thinks that the increasingly-tight field in Formula 1 means his outfit cannot afford to let any more opportunities slip through its fingers if it is going to hunt down Jenson Button.
"The teams have closed up together and every weekend is now a World Cup Final," said Horner. "We have got to get it right.
"We are in the position where we have everything to gain, because if you look at the average over the last four or five races, then the momentum has been with us rather than with Brawn."
Although Button holds a 16-point advantage at the head of the championship table over his team-mate Rubens Barrichello, with Red Bull duo Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber a little further adrift, it is the form over recent races that has left Horner quite confident.
Since the five races since the Turkish Grand Prix in June, Jenson Button has scored just 11 points. This compares to Barrichello's 21, and Vettel and Webber's 24 over the same period.
Button's tally also interestingly puts him behind Kimi Raikkonen (24), Nico Rosberg (19), Lewis Hamilton (18) and Heikki Kovalainen (13).
Horner added: "Brawn has not been having a good run, despite the win it had in Valencia - and certainly Jenson since Turkey has not been on the podium.
"We did some damage early on at Silverstone and Germany, and then got a podium in Hungary and a podium in Belgium. There is still a long way to go in the championship, the points are closing up and I think it will be an exciting finish.
"I would say it is all open. You have four guys there who are going to have an interesting run in until the end of the series. Both our guys are in the hunt and Rubens has taken 12 points out of Jenson in the last two races. It is a four-horse battle."
Horner also believes that, with KERS set to be a big advantage in next week's Italian Grand Prix, his team's focus will have to be purely on beating Brawn rather than out-and-out victory.
"Monza is a power track and the guys with KERS are going to be pretty strong there," he said. "At Monza we will probably have to run a little less downforce, but there are still some quick corners there and I still think that we can take on the Brawns there."
Red Bull Racing's hopes have also been slightly boosted by the team discovering that the engine failure on Webber's car in Saturday practice at Spa was caused by an ancillary component failure - so the power-unit is fine to be brought back into action.