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Red Bull target title sweep in 2018

Red Bull target title sweep in 2018

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Red Bull target title sweep in 2018

Red Bull target title sweep in 2018

Red Bull remain confident that they can challenge Mercedes and Ferrari for team honours in 2018, with Christian Horner also insisting Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen are in with a shout of ending the year as drivers' champion, despite Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel's healthy standings lead.

After Verstappen's victory at the Austrian Grand Prix he is fifth in the standings, 53 points adrift of leader Vettel, while Ricciardo is just three points ahead of his team-mate in fourth, having retired in Spielberg.

The Dutchman's run of three consecutive podiums mirrors a resurgence in the team generally - they are the highest-scoring team across the five races since a wipeout-induced double DNF in Azerbaijan.

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Red Bull have finished third in the championship behind Mercedes and Ferrari in the past two years, but having closed the gap to 58 points with 12 races - and 516 available points - to go.

"I think we definitely have an outside chance: nine races, three victories, same amount of wins as Ferrari and Mercedes," Horner said.

"Our Achilles heel has been not scoring with both cars, either through reliability or other incidents: although F1 is full of ifs, buts and maybes.

"If you look at the positions we were in and should have been in, then we should be leading the championship today. But the scoreboard is slightly different to that.

"We've closed the gap over the last few races and it's still a long, long way to go. There are 12 races left and so yeah, I think you have to consider us as an outside contender.

"There are some circuits coming up that should play to our strengths, places like Hungary, obviously Singapore. And there are circuits that will not be so good for us.

"But I think one of our major assets is as a race team, we're extremely versatile and we've been very creative on strategy, pitstops, pit work as a team. The team's working extremely, extremely well.

"So I think there is a chance in both championships and we certainly haven't written anything off at this point in the year."

Red Bull's title hopes could see them take penalties at the German Grand Prix on Ricciardo's car, albeit with an eye on success in Hungary a week later.

Horner said: "Hopefully not this weekend, but probably we would likely incur a penalty around Hockenheim time, as we would want to avoid Hungary.

"Hungary is a key opportunity for us as it's a low power dependent circuit to hopefully be in contention for a win."

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Sun 09 Aug

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