Horner: Red Bull have taken a big step forward 30 Jun 2008
Midway through the 2008 season and Red Bull have already scored as many points as they managed in the whole of 2007. No wonder then that their team principal is pretty pleased with progress. In response to the eternal what do you think of it so far question, Christian Horner brings us his half-term report
Christian Horner: The first half of the season has gone pretty well for us. We have taken a big step forward in reliability and our performance has also shown progress since 2007. So far, coming up to the British Grand Prix, we have had one hundred percent mechanical reliability in all the races, which is remarkable compared to last year. We have already scored as many points in a half season as we did in the entirety of 2007 and we have secured our first podium of the year as well as scoring in seven of the eight races to date. The only race where we failed to score was in Melbourne where both our drivers were eliminated through accidents. Its a positive start and we are on target to meet our objective of finishing the year in fourth spot in the constructors, but theres still a long way to go. With that in mind, there are still developments due on the car to increase performance as we feel we can get closer to McLaren and BMW.
This year, everyone has worked very well as a team and we are beginning to see the true potential that exists within our group. As an independent team and many people seem to forget we are independent without the clout of a manufacturer behind it, I think we have exceeded expectations in many areas, but we wont be fully satisfied until we are winning races.
While pushing to maintain our fourth place in the championship, we are also working on our 2009 programme and, as a smaller team, we have to be smart in the way we use our resources. All teams face this dilemma to some extent. The best form of defence is attack and thats what well continue to do for the rest of 2008. Within our technical group we have the capacity to develop the current car while looking at 2009 and (chief technical officer) Adrian Neweys primary focus is now the 2009 car. But he is still overseeing the development of RB4. It is a juggling act but one which we feel we can deal with. We just have to think smarter than the bigger teams we are fighting against, work hard and keep our head down.
Mark (Webber) has driven fantastically well so far this year, in the points bar Melbourne and Canada where he had incidents that werent his fault. Hes in a very competitive part of the field racing against the likes of Fernando Alonso, Jarno Trulli and Nico Rosberg. Hes done an excellent job and on three occasions - Turkey, Monaco and France, weve got both cars into the top ten in qualifying. As for David (Coulthard), things had not gone his way until Montreal. He qualified in the top ten in fifty percent of the races but hes come home with three ninth place finishes which is the most frustrating position just outside the points. The Montreal podium was the highlight for both him and the team so far this year. With half the season still to go, it is imperative that we maintain our reliability and continue to develop the car at each race in order to achieve our target of fourth place in the constructors championship.