(Francois Flamand - DPPI for Renault Sport F1)
Reigning world champions Red Bull Racing have admitted that their chances of challenging for this year's world championship are 'locked in damage limitation mode' until engine supplier Renault have sorted out their engine.
The Milton Keynes based outfit finished yesterday's race in Bahrain in fourth and sixth respectively, with Daniel Ricciardo both challenging and indeed beating his team mate Sebastian Vettel. The result for Ricciardo was even more impressive after the Australian made his way from 13th on the grid to come through to finish the race in fourth place to collect his first world championship point's of his Red Bull Racing career.
Speaking about Mercedes current dominance in Formula One Red Bull boss Christian Horner said:
'I think for the first time we have seen their proper pace when they have gone for it - and they are not hanging about.
He went on to say:
'This track was always going to be a Mercedes-engine [favouring] circuit and it is no coincidence that at one point there were seven Mercedes running in the top eight'
Horner went on to say that that he felt that Ricciardo's drive from 13th to 4th was 'Phenomenal' Speaking about Sebastian Vettel's race performance Horner said:
'Seb has had a tough afternoon, and it has not been a strong weekend for him. He had issues in qualifying, and he felt the car was down on straightline speed in the race'.
It is clear to see that the team are certainly not where they would have wanted to be at this stage in the season. When you consider that at this stage last season Vettel won in Malaysia and Bahrain and so , far this season Vettel has one podium following his third place finish behind both Mercedes in Malaysia.
Red Bull Racing are currently in 4th place in the Constructors championship on 35 point's, 76 behind the Mercedes AMG F1 Team and two point's ahead of Ferrari.
The team head to the next race in China at the Shanghai International circuit where last year Sebastian Vettel finished the race in 4th place behind Lewis Hamilton. This day next week the team will be in Paris for the appeal hearing into Daniel Ricciardo's disqualification from the season opening Australian Grand Prix.
Sunday's race result in Bahrain was a fantastic boost for the Australian who had rotten luck since he joined the team over the Winter.
©Ben Johnston 2014