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Red Bull feeling the Mercedes threat

ESPN Staff
July 29, 2013 « Finishing second is not enough - Raikkonen | Ferrari confirms Allison's arrival »
Sebastian Vettel finished third behind Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen in Hungary © Sutton Images

Red Bull is expecting to be pushed hard for this year's title after Mercedes won the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Sebastian Vettel currently has a lead of 38 points in the drivers' standings over Kimi Raikkonen, while Red Bull is 69 points ahead of Mercedes in the constructors'. However, Hamilton's victory in hot conditions at the Hungaroring suggests Mercedes will be a more consistent threat in the upcoming races and team principal Christian Horner has urged Red Bull not to rest on its laurels.

"I think we are set for a really intense second half of the year," he said. "But we just have to maintain our consistency no matter who the opponent is."

Asked if Hamilton's win meant the title race was now back on, he added: "I don't think it has ever been off. Mercedes since the second race have been very quick and that is still the case here. At different races we have seen different drivers emerge at the front of the field - whether that is Kimi [Raikkonen] in Germany or Lewis here or Nico [Rosberg] at Silverstone."

However, Horner pointed out that Hamilton had it relatively easy at the Hungaroring after Vettel got held up behind Jenson Button following the first pit stops.

"I think Lewis did a great job, drove very well, everything fell perfectly for them. He made two decisive moves - one on Jenson and one on Mark at crucial points of the race - and I think after Sebastian suffered his front wing damage he was able to control the race quite comfortably and I don't think he was under a great degree of threat. But Mercedes have a very strong car - they have taken pole position at six or seven races and have won three races now."