Turkish GP - Red Bull Renault - Preview
Red Bull heads into next weekend's Turkish Grand Prix with the intention of bringing the battle to the Brawn team once again, and the Istanbul circuit might be the right place to sign their second victory this year.
Red Bull Racing is not the only outfit aiming to do so, as Ferrari have also upped their game recently and may soon challenge for wins as well.
"This is an important race in the Championship," stated Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner.
"Our target is to challenge the Brawns who have had a remarkable run so far," he explained. "It was also clear at the last two races that Ferrari have made a significant step forward and I think we can expect them to play a key role this weekend, especially as it's a race they've won for the past three years."
During the last outing in Monaco, Sebastian Vettel qualified fourth but crashed out on lap 15 on the narrow and tricky streets of Monte Carlo. Aboard the other Red Bull racer, Mark Webber avoided the traps and reached the finish line in fifth place, having gained three positions during the race.
The RB5 has been performing well and the team has opted to mostly maintain its Monaco specification although minor updates will be brought to the aero package – as always in F1, the effort to squeeze out extra performance never stops.
After the atypical Monaco challenge, Horner believes the RB5 should do well indeed on the fast and flowing Istanbul circuit, as will the team's drivers: "The high-speed Turkish track represents a completely different challenge to Monaco and it should be better suited to the strengths of our car.
Mark was competitive at this circuit last year and Sebastian made his F1 debut in Turkey in 2007, as a 'Friday-driver' for BMW, topping the time sheet in both sessions."
As things currently stand, Red Bull holds a 16-point advantage on third-placed Toyota, but the objective is reaching the leading BrawnGP team, a full 43.5 points ahead.
"It will be important for us to achieve a strong result and our objective has to be to reduce the gap to the Championship leaders," Horner said. "We've been competitive at all the circuits so far this season, even though at a couple of races our performance has been compromised by cars equipped with KERS."
Beating out the Brawn drivers in Turkey means that Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber will need to not only out-pace their rivals but also manage the characteristics of the Istanbul circuit, known for its high tyre-wearing tendency.
"Management of the softer tyres in the inevitably high Turkish temperatures will also be a key factor, as indeed it has been at most of the races so far," noted the Red Bull boss. "It will be important not to abuse the tyres in the high-speed turns and this could play a key role in the final result."
"We look forward to the weekend, it should be a really interesting race," Horner concluded.