The Milton Keynes squad have only managed one victory from the opening four rounds of the season despite producing a car that looks just as fast - if not faster - than Mercedes’ 2021 challenger.

Some excellent strategy calls from Mercedes and brilliant performances by Lewis Hamilton have so far limited Red Bull to a single win at Imola, but Horner is hopeful that Monaco’s unique tight and twisty nature should favour the strengths of the RB16B.

“Sector 3 sometimes gives an indicative view of how the car could be at Monaco, so hopefully we should be competitive,” Horner said.

“I think every Grand Prix this year bar Bahrain, there's been less than a tenth of a second between ourselves and the pole position, so it's been phenomenally close.

“And Monaco, we need to make sure we beat Mercedes in Monte Carlo. But we know that that will be incredibly tough.”

While Mercedes has generally held the edge on race day, Horner insists Red Bull can be buoyed by how much more competitive the team is relative to its main rival compared to previous years.

"I think the Mercedes, we've seen it since Bahrain, I think that their race pace has been better than ours at each grand prix that we've seen so far,” he added.

“And I think that their degradation has been better than ours. So we knew these last two circuits [Spain and Portugal] would play to their strengths.

“They’ve done that but we're an awful lot closer than we have been and I think if we can find some more race pace. It's still very very tight between the two cars.”

Horner’s opposite number at Mercedes, Toto Wolff, believes that Red Bull remains the team to beat, despite back-to-back victories for Hamilton in Portugal and Spain.

“Monaco is a high downforce track and we know that's a key strength of Red Bull,” he explained. “They were very quick in sector three in Spain and that's often a good indication of strong performance in Monaco.

“So, we head into the weekend knowing they are the team to beat, whilst also knowing we'll face strong competition from some of the other teams, too. But, just like the season so far, we're enjoying the hunt.”

 

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