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Red Bull expects 'tough fight' with 2014 looming

ESPN Staff
February 6, 2013 « Luiz Razia to partner Max Chilton at Marussia | Grosjean sets pace on day two »
Christian Horner: © Sutton Images
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Christian Horner is expecting a tough battle at the front of the grid this season as the teams face the challenge of developing two very different cars simultaneously.

The change in engine regulations for 2014 has resulted in teams running two projects at the same time, one on the 2013 car and one on the V6 turbo 2014 car. Smaller teams will likely halt development of their 2013 cars at some point, but with titles to fight for at the front of the grid the same luxury is unlikely to be afforded to the top teams.

"Our focus is very much based on 2013 at the moment, but we have a small group of people looking towards 2014," Horner said. "It's a matter of spinning the two plates and balancing the defence of our titles in 2013 while also looking towards 2014. It's a matter of balancing your resource accordingly and that becomes harder as the season progresses."

And Horner is expecting tough competition from Red Bull's rivals this year.

"It would foolish to sit here and underestimate the calibre of our opponents - both drivers and teams - because last year it went all the way to the wire and in 2010 it went all the way to the wire. I'm sure this year is going to be another tough and tight season."

Red Bull is the only team with a works engine deal for 2014 other than the factory teams Mercedes and Ferrari. Horner said his team intends to take full advantage of its deal with Renault, even though the French manufacturer supplies three other teams.

"We enjoy a works relationship with Renault," he said. "We have a very close relationship with the technical team at [Renault's factory in] Viry-Chatillon and there is an awful lot of correspondence and integration between the guys at Red Bull and Viry."