Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has observed that Ferrari generally look quicker now than they have done in previous races, but he remains focused on his own side.
The Scuderia have seemed to have much better race pace than they did before Barcelona, and part of that is owed to new rear wing they introduced in Spain, which gave the better straight-line speed and has enabled them to compete with Red Bull over a race distance more consistently.
It has also been noted that they have given themselves more options from a setup perspective with the new design, so they were bound to add more victories to the tally of two they managed in the opening nine rounds of the season.
Indeed, Carlos Sainz took victory at the British Grand Prix before Charles Leclerc won last weekend in Austria, so Horner is aware that his rivals have stepped up their game.
“I think they’ve certainly moved closer in terms of straight-line performance,” he told RacingNews365.com.
“But yeah, it’s horses for courses. It’ll be interesting at the next couple of venues how that plays out.”
After taking his maiden win in Silverstone, Sainz looked poised to pass Max Verstappen and ensure a Scuderia one-two behind Leclerc, but this was cruelly snatched away from him when his engine failed.
He and Leclerc have now suffered two retirements each as a result of engine issues, but Horner insists that this is of no comfort to him, because things could very well go wrong for the Milton Keynes-based team if they fail to keep things in check.
“We’re not too focused on that,” added the Briton.
“That, we can’t control or contribute to in any way, I think that we’ve got to focus on ourselves and just getting the best out of our own package.
“They had a very strong car, they could have well finished first and second.”
Verstappen had started on pole after a sensational lap on Friday, before taking advantage of the Ferraris’ squabbling to coast to victory.
However, where tyre wear has generally been more of a problem for the Italian team this season, it was the 24-year-old that encountered those gremlins in Spielberg, which played a factor in him finishing second.
“Up until about Lap 12, the weekend had gone pretty well in terms of the pole position, the sprint victory,” explained Horner.
“But unfortunately, that tyre deg just hit us pretty hard.”
Verstappen now leads Leclerc by 38 points in the Drivers’ Championship after the Monegasque leapfrogged Sergio Perez, who also failed to finish in Styria after he was hit on the opening lap by George Russell.