Red Bull has vowed to make its RB16B "bulletproof" this season in its bid to finally dislodge Mercedes from its perch as the dominant force in Formula 1.
The Milton Keynes-based team left the season-opening race in Bahrain bitterly disappointed Max Verstappen failed to follow up his pole position with a race win.
But on the positive side, the team that has been notoriously slow-starters in the past knows it has commenced this season with its nose ahead of Mercedes in terms of the development and the pace of its car.
If Red Bull can continue to develop over the course of the campaign as strongly as it has in the past, then it will push Mercedes to the wire over the remaining 22 races.
Recognising Red Bull has "a quick car" in "a two-pronged fight", chief engineer Paul Monaghan said: "We’ve identified some areas where the car can be improved and we concentrate on those.
"Some developments are already in the pipeline for Imola [the next race on April 18], more for subsequent races.
"We will put as much performance on the car as we possibly can by Imola. We need this car to put it down on the ground and run and give us no hiccups.
"We’ve got to develop it, we’ve got to make it bulletproof and Max and Checo [Perez] have got to drive it as quick as they can in Imola, Portugal, Spain and Monaco and wherever else we go."
As Monaghan claims, for once Red Bull's destiny "is in our control" as it now has the platform on which to build a sustained, season-long title challenge.
"We can't influence what Mercedes, McLaren and Ferrari want to do," added Monaghan. "We’ve got to remain focused.
"It’s not all about going to Imola and chalking up a win on the board to say we are world champions. No, it’s not going to happen. It's going to be a long fight for a long season. It wasn't won and lost in Bahrain.
"There was a sense of disappointment in the garage that was felt by all but we’ve got a quick car, a fantastic pair of drivers, a good team and everyone is aware we are going to be challenging all the way through."
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