Red Bull need extra wings

(BBC Online) – Red Bull team boss Christian Horner believes his team and drivers Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber will be serious title contenders again next year.

Vettel finished runner-up to champion Jenson Button by 11 points, with the team second behind Brawn GP in the constructors’ standings.

“As the team has developed, it has only got stronger. I’m sure it’ll continue to evolve,” said Horner. “With continuity in our line-up we’re perfectly placed to build on 2009.”

Red Bull’s chances were hampered by reliability problems, which are borne out by their success scoring points in races.

Button and Brawn team-mate Rubens Barrichello, who has now signed for Williams for next season, failed to score points on just three occasions between them.

In contrast, Red Bull duo Vettel and Mark Webber had a tally of 12 no-scores.

Horner admitted there was no room for complacency, and that he fully expects their rivals to be working as hard as ever in the close season.

But despite this, he said there were plenty of positives to be taken from the season.

“Second is a fantastic achievement for the team,” said Horner. “In many respects the team is still very young and it’s only our fifth season in Formula One.

“To have achieved 16 podiums, six wins, five pole positions and six fastest laps, including four one-two finishes, as well as in excess of 150 points, is a massive achievement.

“We were championship contenders right up until the penultimate race, however, the championship ultimately wasn’t lost in Brazil.

“You have to show respect to the season Jenson and Brawn had, with a very dominant early display in the championship. We were playing catch-up thereafter.’

Vettel, who is in Beijing for the Race of Champions, also believes Red Bull can build on their successful year.

“You can’t change yesterday but you can change tomorrow,” he said.

“It is necessary to look back and understand what we’ve done wrong and the fact is that five times this year we didn’t finish.

“There is only one step better we can do and there is no question that is the target.”