Despite Red Bull Racing's unbroken run of pole positions to-date in F1 2010, Christian Horner fears the energy drinks-backed outfit could find itself somewhat on the back foot this weekend in the Canadian Grand Prix – but he reasons that 'if we can be quick in Montreal, we have nothing to fear' anywhere.
The Adrian Newey-designed Red Bull RB6 has indisputably been the car to have over a single lap all season, but its pace over a full race distance has on occasion been a little more questionable, and the pressure being applied from behind by McLaren-Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button in the Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul last time out was undoubtedly a catalyst in Sebastian Vettel's desperate move to wrest the lead away from team-mate Mark Webber that ended in disaster, with retirement for the German and a delay for the Australian.
Worse still for RBR, the upcoming two grands prix in Montreal and Valencia should on paper play more to the strengths of the McLaren MP4-25 than the RB6, whose comparatively breathless Renault engine is likely to be at a particular disadvantage down the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve's long back straight.
“This weekend represents one of our biggest challenges of the year,” the Milton Keynes-based squad's team principal Horner told BBC Sport
. “At the next two races in Montreal and Valencia, horsepower is heavily-weighted – and we know we have a deficit to the benchmark engine in F1.
“With the F-duct that McLaren have done a good job of optimising, that will obviously be an advantage [for them], but our car has its strengths in other areas. If we can be quick in Montreal, we have nothing to fear between now and the end of the year in terms of circuits.
“We have some mighty opposition, though. Sometimes you have to pinch yourselves – in a short space of time this team is beating and competing with the likes McLaren and Ferrari, which would have been unthinkable over the last two years.”