Nurburgring, Germany, July 25, 2011 (AFP) - Red Bull boss Christian Horner conceded on Monday that his team's crushing defeat by both McLaren and Ferrari in the German Grand Prix had been a 'wake-up call' that signalled they need to work harder.
Horner admitted that there was nothing his drivers Australian Mark Webber or defending champion and current runaway leader German Sebastian Vettel could do to stop Briton Lewis Hamilton and Spaniard Fernando Alonso finishing first
"We have managed to be competitive at many, many different types of track," he said. "We have had pole position at every single GP this year; we have won six out of 10 and been on the podium at every single race. "So it is far from a disaster, but, for sure, this race is a reminder that we cannot back off -- and not any member of the team is backing off at the moment.
Everybody is pushing flat out." Hamilton's sensational win means there have been four different victors in the last four Grands Prix - a sure sign that Vettel is no longer having it all his own way, as he did with five wins in the opening six races this season.
Horner added: "I think that if you look at Valencia, McLaren was down a bit there as well and Ferrari was up a bit, but they are both great teams and they are both pushing very hard. "You are always learning and we have seen very different climatic
"It has probably been colder than winter testing and we saw McLaren struggling quite a lot two weeks ago with tyres. "I think the key to performance is in understanding the tyres' performance and getting the most from the tyres -- and Red Bull has been pretty consistent across the 10 races whereas other teams have been up and down.
"We will for sure look to learn lessons from this weekend - but the next GP will be in different conditions probably. It is probably going to be another 20 degrees hotter. "You are always learning, always looking to move forward, but the one thing Red Bull has consistently done is be able to run at the front this year."
Horner's focus on tyres, and tyre performance, was reiterated up and down the pit lane after Sunday's race as it became apparent that the 'new' Pirelli tyres were now lasting longer, in European conditions, than they had done earlier in the year.
This, in turn, meant that the drivers were required to adapt to new performance levels and set-ups, a requirement that appeared to suit Hamilton and Webber better than their team-mates Button and Vettel.
Webber remarked on Sunday that the latest developments of Pirelli's tyres indicated that "things are coming my way now" as he had struggled with the fast-wearing rubber used previously.
However, he added after the race that he felt Red Bull had to accept now that their car was not fast enough - and they did not have the clear performance advantage they enjoyed earlier in the season.
Although Red Bull has taken pole at every race this year, the overall superiority has diminished and, as Horner admitted, it is now time for "everyone in the factory to be working flat out with bits coming through, so we are in the heart of the development race at the moment."