Red Bull: Gap with front-runners not as bad as it looks

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Red Bull Racing's Christian Horner says there was more to the 75-second deficit conceded by Daniel Ricciardo at the end of Sunday's Spanish GP than meets the eye.

Much was expected of the Milton Keynes-based outfit's upgrade which was introduced in Barcelona.

Both Max Vertappen and Ricciardo confirmed a step-up in performance of the RB13, validated by the Dutchman's good performance in qualifying.

But the Australian driver's lonely run to third and the subsequent deficit had many calling into question the RB13's true progress.

"If you look at the weekend as a whole, we have definitely addressed some of the issues and definitely made some progress with the car," Horner told

"I think Max was unlucky at the start. He picked the outside, Valtteri started off a chain reaction hitting Kimi [Raikkonen] who bounced into Max.

"There was a small chance he was going to come out of that corner in third, but three-into-one unfortunately doesn't go, so it was a shame to lose Max on the first lap.

"Thereafter, Daniel had a pretty lonely race, benefiting from Bottas' retirement, and pretty much from halfway through the race we turned the engine down to try to save engine life, as obviously it has to do quite a few events.

"The pace to the front running cars was pretty significant, so we still have plenty to do. But we feel we have made some progress here this weekend.

"It has given us a very clear development direction and we hope to be able to capitalise on that in the coming races."

Horner also insisted on the necessity to better exploit tyre usage, an issue underlined by Ricciardo's relative weakness in the final sector of the Circuit de Catalunya all weekend.

"I think there are still issues, because when you have a gap like that, the way you are working the tyres is a clear element. And particularly this track, which is an interesting work out on the tyres.

"It is an area that we are definitely giving away performance. We looked relatively more competitive in the second half of the race than the first."

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