Christian Horner says Red Bull will be back in 'damage limitation' mode at Spa & Monza
But team chief says World Champs will "turn things up" for flyaways
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 19/08/14 10:50am
Christian Horner admits it is unlikely to be before the return of the flyaway rounds – starting with the Singapore GP in three races’ time – before Red Bull can repeat their Hungary form and challenge Mercedes again.
The reigning champions went into the summer break on a high after defeating their rivals for just the second time this year at the Hungarian GP, a victory Horner described as even more satisfying than their first one of the season in Canada given neither Mercedes driver ran into reliability trouble in the race.
However, while the layout of the Hungaroring represented one of the slowest and most tortuous on the calendar, the first two races after the summer break, at Spa and Monza, are on circuits where straightline speed is heavily rewarded. And Horner is aware those circuit characteristics are likely to hand clear advantages back to runaway championship leaders Mercedes and their customer engine teams.
“You never know, it might be wet in Spa and Monza might put a load more corners in!” the Red Bull Team Principal joked.
“But Singapore has to be the next golden opportunity for us in reality. I think it will be damage limitation in the next two races because Force India will suddenly reappear, Williams will be quick, McLaren will be quick and obviously Mercedes will be quick.
“So we’re got to take what we can out of the next two races and then for the flyaways really try and turn things up.”
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull’s race winner in Canada and Hungary, expressed hope that Spa’s infamously unpredictable microclimate could add some spice into the August 22-24 race weekend.
“I think that in pure dry conditions, Mercedes still have a pretty significant edge on everyone else,” the Australian admitted.
“Spa, it’s a pretty good place to start the second half of the year. Maybe the weather and the changes they have there could create something exciting.”