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Red Bull remains upbeat

2010-06-14 07:55
Montreal - Red Bull were putting on a brave face on Sunday after a Canadian Grand Prix that sent McLaren's Lewis Hamilton back to the top of the world championship standings.

What started out as promising day with their two drivers qualified second and third, ended in disappointment for Red Bull with neither making it to the podium.

Sebastian Vettel finished fourth while Mark Webber was fifth and lost his championship lead.

Both men had turns leading the race and at one stage they were holding down the top two positions but the combination of deteriorating tyres and heavy traffic at vital stages cost them any chance of a better result.

"We knew it was going to be a bit like that here today," said Webber, who dropped to third in the drivers' championship after eight of 19 races. Red Bull are now 22 points adrift of McLaren in the constructors' standings.

"Tyres played a huge role in the race today and, in the end, we did the best we could do.

"It wasn't really a surprise. I wanted to get some champagne today but in the end it didn't happen."

The signs were ominous for the Australian even before the race began when he had to replace a faulty gearbox and was penalised five places on the grid, dropping back to seventh.

He instantly regained two spots when Felipe Massa and Vitantonio Liuzzi collided at the first corner and eventually worked his way to the front, which he held for 22 laps, before his tyres started losing grip and he dropped back to fifth with a second pit stop.

Mixed emotions

"I had mixed emotions, after the penalty this morning and starting seventh," said Webber, who won in Spain and Monaco.

"But then I had a good few laps and I managed to get into a few people. That took its toll a little bit on the first set of tyres so I was in trouble a little bit earlier than I would have liked.

"It's virtually impossible to keep the tyres from degrading here, no matter how slow you drive.

"We expected this to be a tough event and in the end we were closer than we thought."

It was a similar story for Vettel, who was promoted to start the race from second on the grid when his team mate moved back.

The German pushed pole sitter Lewis Hamilton hard in the initial stages and was gifted the lead when the Briton, who had started the race on soft tyres, made an early pitstop but could not make up any more ground after the second of his own stops.

"Coming into the weekend we were not the favourites but actually we had very good pace," said Vettel, who had to play safe in the second half of the race with a gearbox leaking oil.

"We couldn't really show our true pace during the race, due to the way it unfolded, but it's promising.

"It's a close battle at the top of the (points) table and as we have seen, things can change very quickly. There is no reason to panic from our side."

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was also optimistic about the rest of the season.

"We still have to be positive to come away with fourth and fifth, valuable points at a track that we always knew was going to favour the McLarens," Horner said.

"We were actually more competitive than we expected to be here which I think is a very encouraging sign.

"There is a long way to go in the championship, it's going to ebb and flow and it's important that on days like today we limit the damage as much as possible."

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