Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner remains upbeat for the start of the European F1 season in Spain next weekend, believing that the tough opening to the year has motivated the team.
After scoring three race wins in 2014, Red Bull has struggled to compete at the front of the field in the first four races of the year, scoring a best finish of sixth in Australia and Bahrain.
Many of the team’s problems had centered on the Renault power unit, which have been severe enough to prompt billionaire owner Dietrich Mateschitz to threaten quitting F1 altogether.
However, Horner insists that the team remains highly motivated and focused after facing such adversity in the early stages of the new season.
“Our target is to keep improving the car,” Horner said. “After a difficult start last year we bounced back from pre-season testing to the first race and we want to try and make a big step forward in the next few races to put Williams and maybe even Ferrari under a bit of pressure.
“The team has been used to winning over the last few years and it’s tough when you’re not running at the front where that’s where you’re used to being.
“But the great thing here is that everyone is using it as a motivation to get back there. Everyone has got their head down, everybody’s working incredibly hard and we can see progress in many areas.”
Horner was also quick to praise his drivers, Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat, who have managed to keep their heads up in spite of their difficulties with the car.
“I’ve been very impressed with the way both drivers have dealt with the situations they’ve been given,” Horner said.
“They’ve both kept their heads up and they’re both enthusiastic. Daniel is still smiling as much as he ever has done and Dany, who has had a bit of a tough hand dealt to him so far, is not letting it get to him.”