Sebastian Vettel has aired his hope that Red Bull Racing will be able to improve enough during the Spanish Grand Prix weekend to join Scuderia Ferrari and Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team at the front of the grid.
The Milton Keynes-based team are anticipating a major upgrade in Barcelona that will hopefully reduce the advantage currently held by Mercedes and Ferrari. It will largely consist of an overhaul to the car’s downforce following what has been an unfruitful attempt during the beginning of the season to concentrate on reducing its drag.
This has resulted in the previous multi-championship winning team running around one and a half seconds down from the lead, and pushed further towards to the midfield battle than that up front; Williams Martini Racing certainly considers Red Bull a viable target in their current predicament.
And unfortunately for Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, this coupled with reliability issues has handed the championship advantage to Vettel, Lewis Hamilton and possibly even Valtteri Bottas, who hadn’t even won a Formula 1 race until this past weekend.
Speaking following his second place finish at the Russian Grand Prix, Vettel spoke of how the European race and the updates implemented there could herald almost a second start to the season’s battle.
Owing to Red Bull’s pedigree, the German has little doubt in their ability to turn things around and believes it’s only a matter of time until they are contending for the first two rows of the grid.
And although you might assume that being the current championship leader Vettel would be wishing the day away, he is in fact looking forward to the challenge.
“I think it will be a very close race between Mercedes and us, I hope, and I also hope that Red Bull find some pace,” he said.
“There’s a lot of rumours around [regarding the upgrade]. They are a strong team, they know how to build a quick car so I expect it’s a question of when rather than if.
“But the sooner, the more exciting it will be for us. I’m confident that we have the right people, the right tools on board and we will make progress. It obviously depends on what others are doing.”
Red Bull boss Christian Horner couldn’t hide his disappointment in the situation that the team has found itself in, but is looking ahead to Barcelona in hope that it will bring them back into contention.
It was the grand prix that Verstappen secured his first win at one year ago. They will be looking for similar luck this time around.
“We’ve given ourselves a lot to do but the whole team is focused on that and hopefully for the next race, we can start making progress,” he said.