WILL THE BULLS WIN AT MONZA: Pictured here are Red Bull drivers Sebastian Vettel (right) and Mark Webber on the Monza podium in 2013. Image: AFP
LONDON, England - Red Bull boss Christian Horner has admitted it is "unlikely" Red Bull will catch up with dominant Mercedes in 2014.
Formula 1's surprise on-form youngster Daniel Ricciardo, who entered the current summer break with a second win of the season, is more confident.
IT'S NOT OVER...
Ricciardo said: "When maybe some of us say it (the championship) is over, it's just purely looking at the performance of Mercedes.
"But (team mate) Seb is right in saying until it's mathematically over, it isn't."
Although strong throughout 2013, it wasn't until after the northern summer break a year ago that Red Bull - whose Sebastian Vettel then ran all the way to the finale without being beaten - really hit its utterly dominant stride.
Ricciardo is similarly confident in 2014: "I feel since I entered F1 that the second part of the season has always gone better for me.
"So we'll see how it's going and try and get a few more wins."
Boss Horner, however, doubts Red Bull can overcome or compensate for what he describes as a 48kW deficit to dominant Mercedes through the summer break and the remaining eight races of 2014.
'KEEPING THE HAMMER DOWN'
Horner said: "In all honesty it's probably unlikely. If you look at the gap, it's a significant gap. 2013 was more of a level playing field on the power unit side. But obviously with the big regulation change, Mercedes are in a position of real dominance; dominance we haven't seen for a long, long time.
"We're keeping pushing, we're keeping the hammer down and hopefully after the northern summer break we'll have some circuits coming up that we will be able to get even closer.
"But I don't think you'll see a situation like we had last year."
Given its slide behind Mercedes in 2014, Red Bull is at another crossroads - its highly-rated technical director Adrian Newey, frustrated with the sport's ever-tightening rules, has decided to slip into a background role.
Horner is quoted by Italy's Autosprint: "It's no secret that Adrian wanted to lighten his commitment a little but it doesn't mean that we are going to look for a new technical director.
"He will still be very involved with the technical choices. helping us to choose a direction in the design and development.
"We have a very strong technical team. The situation allows us to promote and develop the people who work behind Adrian and give them more responsibility.
"We knew of his (Newey's) design to slow down and we have prepared for it well, adapting to the situation in a way that will benefit everyone."