Red Bull Racing has admitted in the wake of its below-par Hungarian Grand Prix performance last weekend that the speed just wasn't there – as the energy drinks-backed squad lost yet more ground in the fraught, see-saw battle over fourth place in the Formula 1 Constructors' World Championship.
RBR led the battle for the coveted fourth spot prior to the British Grand Prix early last month and, following Mark Webber's front row starting slot at Silverstone, looked to be in good shape to extend that advantage around the former Northants airfield.
Since that qualifying session, however – in which the Australian delivered the team its best-ever grid position in its four-year history in the top flight – neither Webber nor team-mate David Coulthard have notched up so much as a single point, a trend which continued in Budapest with the duo coming home in just ninth and eleventh places at the chequered flag respectively, both more than ten seconds shy of the points.
“We weren't quick enough,” Webber bluntly reasoned. “We didn't do a good enough job in qualifying, which hurt us in the race.
“We struggled to find pace, and it was hard to stay with the Toyotas and Renaults, who we're fighting in the championship. Let's hope it's this track, though, and that we can bounce back in Valencia.”
“Unfortunately I got some traffic before my last stop,” added Coulthard, “which allowed Nick [Heidfeld] to pass me; otherwise I couldn't do any more. The car has a lot of oversteer and rear sliding. Now we'll just focus on the next race and see that we can do there.”
The Milton Keynes-based outfit's team principal Christian Horner was similarly frustrated by the outcome, as RBR now sit a full eleven points adrift of Toyota in the constructors' title chase.
“A disappointing race,” the Englishman reflected. “Unfortunately we just weren't fast enough, and it was a circuit that didn't play to our strengths. Our nearest rivals both had respectable scores, but we'll be pushing hard to recover lost ground in the remaining races.”
“We're disappointed not to score any points this weekend,” added Webber's track support engine engineer Benteyn Pierre-Emeric. “We'll continue working hard to find more performance in our package, and will fight hard to come back soon.”