Red Bull have overdelivered in first half of 2016, says Christian Horner
Red Bull just one point behind Ferrari for second in F1 championship
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 25/07/16 5:09pm
Christian Horner has warned Red Bull are only likely to get stronger over the second half of the season after moving within one point of Ferrari in the battle for second in the Constructors' Championship.
The former champions have cranked up the pressure on their Italian rivals by outscoring them by 36 points in the last three rounds to move to the brink of overhauling them in the standings.
Despite predicting a "transitional" season following a troubled 2015, Red Bull have already scored more points and podiums than they managed last season, while Max Verstappen's win at the Spanish GP is the only non-Mercedes triumph of 2016 so far.
And Horner, Red Bull's team principal, admits those results are better than they could have expected before the summer break.
"It's massive," said Horner. "Pre-season we thought we'd lucky to be in the top five, so to be fighting Ferrari, one point behind at the half-way point in the season having won a race [is better than expected].
"[Sunday] was our sixth podium finish of this season so far and to have both cars finish ahead in their respective battles with Ferrari was a great performance and great first half of the year for us.
"We're always confident the second half of the season should be stronger than our first half."
Although the season still has 10 races to run, Mercedes already appear to be all-but certain to retain their constructors' crown with the reigning world champions opening up a 150-point advantage via their one-two finish in Hungary.
Horner accepts that, for Red Bull, "the next big opportunity for us will be Singapore" in September. However, he insists focus on beating Ferrari over the second half of the season will remain strong, despite the spectre of 2017's big aerodynamic overhaul.
"There are bits [of 2016 development] we've got in the pipeline but a lot of focus is already on 2017," he said.
"We're also keen to challenge Ferrari and ensure we fight them all the way to Abu Dhabi."
Don't miss the F1 Report: Hungarian GP review on Sky Sports F1 at 8.30pm on Wednesday as Marc Priestley and Ben Hunt join Natalie Pinkham in the studio to discuss the fallout from the Budapest race.