Formula 1 - Red Bull upbeat over tyre management

Red Bull is upbeat that it has made good progress with its long-run tyre management, but it believes it faces a big fight for the world championship.

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Red Bull Formula One, generic (Reuters)

The Milton Keynes-based outfit had struggled on high-speed front-limited tracks prior to the British Grand Prix, so its near-miss on victory at Silverstone was a huge encouragement.

Team principal Christian Horner says his outfit has taken heart from the leap in form displayed at the British GP, but knows that the pressure is on with Mercedes breathing down its neck.

"We have learned a bit and we probably ran a better set-up at the weekend," he explained.

"We looked competitive on the long runs so we take encouragement from that.

"Certainly at Barcelona we were nowhere near Ferrari's pace, but here [at Silverstone] we had them covered and we were on the same pace as Mercedes by the looks of things."

Red Bull had appeared to have the out-and-out fastest car in the early stages of the campaign, but Mercedes' growing form now points towards the Brackley-based team having the edge.

Horner has no doubts that the title battle that appeared to be narrowing down to a straight head-to-head with Ferrari is now opening up.

When asked by AUTOSPORT if he felt Mercedes could be a genuine threat, he said: "For sure. I think they are a good team; they have a quick car, they have good drivers.

"They will for sure be a contender from now until the end of the year.

"But so are Ferrari, and so are Lotus. There is still a long way to go in this championship."

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