Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has indicated his team has "three months of hard development" ahead in order to unlock crucial potential from the 40% of its car that can be altered before 2021.
The team has been unable to consistently take the fight to Mercedes this season despite a raft of impressive performances from Max Verstappen earning a victory and multiple podiums to cement second in the constructors' standings.
With a new sliding scale for aerodynamic development, the implementation of a cost cap and little change in the cars for next season, Horner recognises Red Bull's best chance to challenge will be 2022 but insisted the team was flat out preparing for next year.
"2022 is the big opportunity," he said. "I think '21, the DNA of these cars is carried over.
"There is a carryover of parts but that doesn't mean to say if we can unlock more potential in the car and develop the car effectively then, of course, I think we can close that gap.
"This car is the basis of next year's car. There is probably 60% of the car that is carried over so obviously, we are working very hard to understand and unlock further performance from the car between now and the end of the year.
"There is now three months left of hard development and the whole team is very focused on that."
One of the big talking points of this season has been the pace of Racing Point and the process in which it has managed to design its challenger.
With the switch to Aston Martin for 2021, however, and the recruitment of Sebastian Vettel, the team will be looking to bridge the gap to Red Bull and challenge the German's former stable for second in the constructors' standings.
Horner, though, downplayed concerns of any possible threat and re-affirmed his stance that he only looks forward towards fighting the all-conquering Mercedes.
"I think they have a car that is very competitive," assessed Horner. "The basis for their car for next year, the rules should have further clarifications in terms of what is and isn't permitted, but [it is] a team with high aspirations and good budget behind them now and a potentially rejuvenated Sebastian in that car could be a factor.
"We have got to focus on ourselves. The gap we measure ourselves to is Mercedes and that is what we have to work hard to reduce and ultimately get ahead of."
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