Christian Horner believes Red Bull has resolved the issues that blighted its last Formula 1 grand prix in Azerbaijan.
Daniel Ricciardo qualified a superb second for the European Grand Prix, but the race proved a different story, with the Australian and teammate Max Verstappen finishing seventh and eighth.
Both Red Bull drivers were forced to adopt a two-stop strategy, compared to one for many others, due to considerable graining on both the super-soft and soft tires, before finding some consistency in the final stint on the medium rubber.
Heading into this weekend’s Austrian GP, team principal Horner said: “There has obviously been an awful lot of analysis into why [there was graining] because we were so competitive in qualifying.
“We overcompensated the car from Friday to go for qualifying performance and in generating the tire temperature for qualifying we found ourselves outside of the envelope on the first two compounds on a hot track.
“We’ve a reasonable understanding of what happened, but obviously the expectation was not that we would be in the trouble we were on the super-softs or the softs. As soon as we got onto the medium tire we were back in a very competitive situation again.”
Horner is confident there will be no repeat this weekend at the Red Bull Ring.
“The focus of the last two weeks has been mainly to understand what were the ingredients that caused that problem,” he added. “As with all these things it’s never one single thing, but a combination of things. Having understood that we will carry those lessons into this weekend.”
The Red Bull Ring is, like Baku, a power-sensitive circuit and one that has not favored its owner’s team so far. Ricciardo’s eighth in 2014 is Red Bull’s best finish at its namesake track.
Having watched Nico Rosberg dominate in Baku, Horner said: “The layout of that circuit played clearly into Mercedes’ territory. That was not just for the works teams, but also the customer teams. You saw their relative competitiveness step up. Hopefully it was circuit specific.
“I know that Montreal, Baku and Austria are three quite challenging races on the bounce for us, but as we get to the likes of Budapest, Singapore and that type of circuit, we should be in a much stronger shape. For this weekend, again the layout of the circuit is very power-centric, but the forecast for Saturday and Sunday looks a bit mixed, which could spring up some different opportunities.
“The surface is slightly different this year as well and it should be a bit grippier, so it will be interesting to see what effect that has on race strategy as well.”