Christian Horner has conceded that Monaco was never going to be the best circuit for Red Bull Racing in Formula 1 in 2009 – but in a bid to prevent world championship leaders Brawn GP from getting too
comfortable in their position out front, he has warned that the Milton Keynes-based concern will be back on it again with interest in the upcoming grands prix in Turkey and Britain.
Courtesy of a flawless one-two around the narrow, tortuous streets of the Principality with Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello, the ex-Honda F1 outfit has now pulled out a commanding 43.5-point advantage in the constructors' title standings over RBR, for whom Sebastian Vettel crashed out early on following a misguided tyre choice and Mark Webber took the chequered flag just fifth.
Moreover, that has seen Button extend his margin in the chase for the coveted drivers' crown over Vettel to some 28 points. Webber, in fourth place in the championship, is 3.5 points further in arrears still.
Worse still for RBR, the eagerly-awaited debut of Adrian Newey's 'double-decker' split-level diffuser in Monte Carlo failed to yield any noticeable performance gain – as Ferrari leapfrogged the energy drinks-backed operation to become Brawn's nearest challenger. Red Bull team principal Horner, though, insists the battle is far from over yet – and the high-speed corners of Istanbul and Silverstone, the Englishman contends, should suit the Renault-powered RB5 down to the ground.
“We're still reasonably early in the season,” the 35-year-old urged. “They've got a very good lead in the constructors' [and] the drivers', but a couple of bad races for Jenson, a couple of wins for Sebastian or Mark, can bring them right back into contention.
“I think we always expected that [Monaco] was not going to feature as our strongest circuit. The Brawn has always been good at this type of track, and Ferrari has definitely made progress over the last couple of races.
“[The new diffuser] was a lot of hard work, and a big effort from all the boys in the garage – they didn't see their beds for too many hours over the weekend – and also back at Milton Keynes, but we can see that it has put aero performance on the car.
“It will be interesting when we go to Istanbul and Silverstone. Theoretically they are tracks that should come to the characteristics of our car.”
Red Bull is the only team aside from Brawn to have triumphed thus far over the opening six races of 2009, with Vettel leading Webber home in an historic one-two in the rain-lashed Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai last month, the squad's first triumph in 74 starts in the top flight.