Christian Horner has thrown down the gauntlet to Red Bull Racing's F1 2010 title rivals by pointing to a 'steely determination' permeating the corridors in Milton Keynes and boldly declaring that 'there is nothing we fear' over the final three grands prix of the campaign in Korea, Brazil and Abu Dhabi.
Whilst McLaren-Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button are seemingly halfway to conceding defeat in their chase of the coveted crown, and Ferrari star Fernando Alonso is adamant that a consistent run of podiums will be enough from here on in, Red Bull is ostensibly adopting an all-guns-blazing approach to the season run-in, with fighting talk from Horner.
On the evidence of last weekend's Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka – an event that Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber thoroughly dominated from FP1 to chequered flag, with a resounding one-two finish – the Englishman has good reason to be bullish about his team's prospects for success, and a 45-point margin over closest pursuer McLaren in the constructors' standings is undeniably a handy advantage to have at this stage of proceedings.
Horner rubbishes notions that Vettel and Webber's fierce internecine rivalry could end up handing the title to somebody else – as happened at McLaren three years ago, to the benefit of Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen – with Alonso waiting in the wings, level on points with the German and only 14 in arrears of the Australian.
Describing the duel as a 'luxury' rather than a cause for concern, the 36-year-old – a former racer himself – insists that RBR similarly has little apprehension heading next to the great unknown that is Korea, around an all-new circuit whose characteristics could feasibly favour any one of the title contenders.
“Mark has extended his lead and Sebastian has put himself back into contention,” Horner underlined. “There is nothing we fear in the last races. There is a steely determination in the team.
“The dream scenario would be to pull out a big enough gap so that it was just down to Mark and Sebastian. As a team we are trying our best to support both drivers equally, and both drivers are very much still in this championship.”