• Spanish GP - Race

Red Bull closer to Mercedes than result suggests - Horner

ESPN Staff
May 12, 2014 « Raikkonen fumes he is Ferrari's 'second choice' | Full recovery nearly complete - Renault »
Christian Horner is still convinced Red Bull can make a fight of it in 2014 © Getty Images

Christian Horner thinks the 49-second gap between Daniel Ricciardo and race-winner Lewis Hamilton in Spain disguises the fact Red Bull has narrowed the gap to Mercedes to nearly half-a-second per lap.

Once again Mercedes looked to be in a league of its own in Spain and the margin of its victory suggested it had at least maintained the advantage enjoyed in the flyaway races. Ricciardo spent the first stint stuck behind Valtteri Bottas and Horner believes he could have been closer were it not for the Williams.

"It's actually less if you look at the detail," Horner said. "The 49-second gap is slightly artificial because we lost a lot of time behind the Williams in the first stint and then once you find yourself in no man's land it's about managing the tyres for the end of the race.

"If you look at the last stints in particular where both Mercedes were pushing flat out and Sebastian and Daniel had a bit of clear air, we've definitely moved a bit closer. I'd say it's currently about six tenths of a second.

"There's still some way to go but we definitely have moved closer. To be sure they were pushing as hard as they could so it wasn't like they were taking it easy. It's great to see we have made progress and taken a step ahead of the rest of the field."

When asked if he agreed with Fernando Alonso's statement that Mercedes could win all 19 races in 2014, Horner replied "It's possible but improbable. They've got a very good car, engine and drive set-up, it's all working very well. Things can change, we won the last nine races of last year, and things can change very quickly."

Horner also refuses to believe the world championship race is over, despite seeing Mercedes win all five of the opening races.

"Mercedes has got itself into a dominant position; it has worked hard to get into that position. We have a choice; we either pack up and all go home or we fight to close the gap. We made small inroads this weekend and we are determined to keep pushing and trying to close that gap down."

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