Although Red Bull didn't taste the victory champagne at Bahrain, the team showed great progress as compared to last season. According to many experts, the drink company has the fastest car on the grid right now although there's not much of a gap between them and Mercedes.
Red Bull is not satisfied with the current performance of their car. The team has an eye on the championship this season and is chasing improvements to make the car even more competitive.
Speaking about the upcoming race in Imola, Red Bull revealed an aggressive development plan to make the car faster.
Red Bull’s chief engineer Paul Monaghan said:
“Some developments are already in the pipeline for Imola, more for subsequent races, so it’s now a two-pronged fight. We need this car to be put down on the ground and run and give us no hiccups. We will put as much performance onto the car as we possibly can by Imola."
The team remains focused on their own abilities, regardless of what their competitors are doing. Monaghan claimed:
“Our destiny is in our control and we can’t influence what Mercedes, McLaren, Ferrari, and everybody else want to do. So we’ve got to remain focused.”
Red Bull in for a prolonged championship challenge
Red Bull is under no illusions. They understand that the team needs to take the fight to Mercedes every chance they get. However, the calendar has 23 races on it so one poor performance may not change the outcome of the season under normal conditions. However, in a battle against Mercedes, the team cannot afford to sit still and will need to maximize their opportunities if they wish to win the championship.
Red Bull's chief engineer revealed the mood in the team after the Bahrain Grand Prix:
"There’s a sense of disappointment in the garage, which is felt by all, but we’ve got a quick car, we’ve got a fantastic pair of drivers, we’ve got a good team and everybody’s aware that we’re going to be challenging all the way through.”
Speaking about the long season ahead, Monaghan said:
“It’s not all about going to Imola and chalking a win up on the board to say 'oh we’re world champions' – that’s not going to happen,”. “It’s going to be a long fight for a long season, and it’s not won and lost here [in Bahrain].
Bahrain was a good track for Red Bull. The car showed great pace throughout the weekend as they led all three practice sessions and took pole in qualifying. However, the points come on Sunday and their work was undone after failing to react to Mercedes' strategy.
The true competitive picture will be revealed after a few races, until then, let's hope that Red Bull and Mercedes are neck-and-neck in terms of performance. Formula 1 fans are ready to finally witness Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen fight it out for the title.