Red Bull is expecting other Formula 1 teams to “come back hard” at upcoming grands prix, according to team boss Christian Horner.
The Milton Keynes-based squad dominated the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, with Max Verstappen leading Sergio Perez for a Red Bull 1-2.
It was notably the fastest team in the field on race day, with rivals unable to challenge throughout the 57 laps.
Aston Martin appeared to possess the second-fastest car, while Mercedes and Ferrari were unable to mount a challenge during the race.
“They [Aston Martin] looked very strong in the race today it was enjoyable to see Fernando up there who gives the 40-something hope that there’s life in the old boy yet and he raced very well,” Horner commented.
“He’s still so competitive and that the Aston looks a good car. Based on the result of one race you would have to say they are the second-strongest team here.”
George Russell claimed after the grand prix that Red Bull could win at every event this year, such is its advantage at the start of the campaign.
But Horner has backed other teams to reel Red Bull in as the season plays out.
“23 races is a marathon and it’s about being consistent over the campaign,” he said.
“Today was a great start, both drivers, I mean obviously Checo lost out at the start on the dirty side the benefit of the brand new tyre off the start line for Charles [Leclerc].
“But again the strategy and the pace we had enabled Checo to pass him and it was a question of managing the race to the finish. But we fully expect rivals to come back hard in the future races.”
Red Bull enters the year having dominated the 2022 campaign, taking 17 race wins last year en route to double championship success.
Horner warned that the grid’s pecking order following the opening race of the year won’t reflect how the 2023 season will play out.
“I’ve been around long enough to see things change so quickly and I still think that these cars are still relatively immature and as teams develop and upgrades come, things will change,” he said.
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