Alexander Albon and Christian Horner think that Red Bull Racing's car could be improved in the short term. The team left Austria on Sunday with a third place for Max Verstappen and a fourth for Albon, far behind Mercedes.
With that, the diptych that opened the season did not determine what Red Bull was expected to do. Mecedes proved to be in a class of its own this season on the circuit where Verstappen had achieved great victories in the last two years.
The team that has dominated Formula 1 since 2014 thus laid the foundation for another successful year. Still, Red Bull hopes that the gap can be closed with quick updates.
"Max and I agree on how to improve the car," said Albon. "We understand the car a bit more after this weekend and now we know where we can do better."
Team boss Horner was especially happy with the first podium of the season, after both cars dropped out in the opening race with technical problems. "But the gap with Mercedes was very frustrating."
"A lot of work has been done again this week by the team and everyone in the factory. We could already make some updates to the car to close the gap and we are trying to improve in all areas. Hopefully we are closer again in Hungary" said Horner.
Verstappen finds hole "shocking"
At the press conference of the top three in the race, Verstappen had called the gap between the podium customers and the rest of the field "shocking". The Limburger could afford an extra pit stop in the final phase to attempt unsuccessfully to get the fastest race lap. He crossed the line eleven seconds before Albon.
"I drove a little further back than I would have liked and my speed was not great," Albon admits. The young Thai equaled the best result of his career in Austria. "Fourth place is okay in the end. The team took a nice number of World Cup points, which we needed after the double dropout last week."
Team boss Horner was also not really satisfied with the race from Albon. "He seemed to have some problems in the opening stages, even though he was able to pass Ocon and Sainz nicely. After the pit stop, his pace improved and he fought hard to keep fourth place against a very fast Sergio Pérez."
Red Bull is already looking forward to next weekend's race at the Hungaroring, where Verstappen took pole position last year and eventually finished second. "We only have a week to Hungary, but let's see what we can do," said Albon. "Mercedes is very difficult to beat, we have seen in Austria that they are very strong. But we keep fighting."
See also: View the results of GP Styria and the World Cup positions