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Horner 'positive' after one test

Chris Medland February 17, 2012 « Domenicali bemoans Italian void | Teams will follow FIA to Bahrain - Horner »
Christian Horner: "Still plenty to do before the first race in Melbourne but we're satisfied with the start that we've had." © Getty Images
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Christian Horner says that Red Bull has done "tremendously well" so far but still has "plenty to do" in the remaining tests before it is ready for the first race in Melbourne.

Red Bull enjoyed a productive first test as it completed 297 laps with Mark Webber setting the third fastest time behind Romain Grosjean's Lotus and the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso. With the cars having to pass all of the crash tests before they can take to the track for testing it has increased the workload for the teams, and Horner told ESPNF1 exclusively at the Motor Sport Hall of Fame that the team was "satisfied" with its start to the pre-season.

"It's been a very busy period for the whole team," Horner said. "Working flat out and coming out of last year's championship that obviously didn't conclude until the Brazilian Grand Prix which was right at the end of November. So it's a very short off season in which time you've got to design, manufacture and produce a new car to new regulations. The team's done tremendously well; we had a positive first test in Jerez, still plenty to do before the first race in Melbourne but we're satisfied with the start that we've had."

When asked if any other teams had surprised him in Jerez, Horner said that he didn't allow the times set by Red Bull's rivals distract the team from its own objectives.

"It's very dangerous to get drawn too much in to the timesheets. We have a very limited amount of track time available to us so we tend to put the blinkers on and try and focus on our own programme and not get too sucked in to what other teams are doing. We'll know soon enough in Melbourne, so in the meantime we're going to be heavily focussed on trying to run to our programme in a disciplined fashion which is what we've done for the last few years."

Horner admitted that there was some added pressure with only three pre-season tests this year and a 20-race schedule, but said that was part of the challenge of the sport.

"It certainly doesn't get any longer. It is a pressure turnaround but it's the same for everybody, it's the same for all of the teams and that's the great thing about Formula One; the challenge is unrelenting. It's going to be a long, tough season. There's some great races ahead - it's great to be going back to America - 20 races is a long calendar but one we're really looking forward to.

"I think we're about at the limit (of races), especially with the different territories that we visit. It's a busy year for the whole team, especially with the development that goes on throughout the year as well so we'll be pushing flat-out from now until December."

Chris Medland is assistant editor at ESPNF1

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Chris Medland is assistant editor at ESPNF1 Chris Medland, who in his youth even found the Pacific GPs entertaining, talked his way in to work at the British Grand Prix and was somehow retained for three years. He also worked on the BBC's F1 output prior to becoming assistant editor ahead of the 2011 season