Red Bull Racing team boss Christian Horner has rejected notions that the Milton Keynes-based outfit is the 'favourite' for the F1 2010 championships.
Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber dominated the Malaysian Grand Prix last weekend and swept to a convincing one-two in their Renault-powered RB6's. It was the perfect response after reliability problems had cost Vettel what looked like almost certain victories in Australia and the F1 2010 opener in Bahrain.
Furthermore with Ferrari and McLaren both struggling at Sepang - after misjudging the changeable weather conditions in qualifying, something that left them well down the grid - the situation has turned around completely in the F1 drivers' and constructors' championships.
Indeed Vettel has now vaulted up from seventh in the standings to joint second with Fernando Alonso, both on 37 points, two points behind the leader, Felipe Massa. Red Bull also gained ground in the constructors' too and now has 61 points, 5 off McLaren and 15 off Ferrari.
Speaking in an interview with ITV-F1.com
, Horner, noted that F1 2010 looks fiercely competitive: "I think the great thing about this year's championship is that we've had three different race winners now," he noted. "No one driver has run off.
"Fernando [Alonso] had his problem in Malaysia, Lewis [Hamilton] has had a couple of scrappy races as well. I think there are six or seven drivers that are capable of winning this championship, which obviously includes both of ours.
"It's great though that we've been to three very different tracks and been in a position to win all three races. We're not in the lead of either championship however, so we're not favourites. We've got a good car and very capable people, but it's going to be about how we perform over [all] 19 races."
Despite his assertion though, that Red Bull are not the favourites, Horner does believe they can take on the might of Ferrari and McLaren.
"We have a great deal of respect for all our opponents, but we've got a lot of confidence in our team.
"We've got some great people in the team and two very strong drivers. I believe we have all the know-how and the skill to be able to challenge both McLaren and Ferrari over the season. We're right back in it now [after our 1-2 finish in Malaysia], he summed-up.