Horner rules out fighting Mercedes cars
6 March 2014 – Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has publicly conceded that Red Bull will not be in a position to compete with the Mercedes-powered runners at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix next weekend.
The Milton Keynes-based outfit, winner of the past four Drivers' and Constructors' titles, has endured a torrid pre-season phase, with Renault's faulty power unit and car cooling problems severely limiting mileage.
And although a selection of wary rival teams and drivers have refused to rule out the possibility of Red Bull putting up a fight on the streets of Melbourne, Horner admits this is unlikely to be the case.
"We know we don't have the pace to challenge the Mercedes teams at the moment, but it's very much a case of see where we are in Melbourne," Horner, whose outfit finished third from bottom on the test mileage charts, is quoted as saying by The Daily Telegraph. "Then we know the scale and magnitude of what we have to climb.
"We don't even know our starting point at the moment, so it's impossible to make predictions sitting here a week prior to the first race. But I have every confidence in the team, and in Renault, that we can make it. Our target is [to catch up] as soon as possible."
Horner added that he has total faith in those working on fixes and developments back at the factory, reiterating that the core of the RB10's design team is the same as it was during its four previous title-winning campaigns.
"We have enjoyed great success in the last five years, and we've got a very talented group of people," he said.
"It's exactly the same group of people designing the current car. I don't think we're paying too much attention to what people are saying. You don't become idiots overnight. We've got a very strong group of people here. There's a real determination. You only have to look at the amount of hours going in. It's massive.
"Some superhuman efforts are going in to get on top of the issues, to try and ensure we're in as good a shape as we can be in Melbourne and build from there. It's a marathon of a Grand Prix season, rather than a sprint."