Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has explained why preempting Mercedes' Spanish Grand Prix pit strategy would have been a "bold" call too far.
Mercedes has bounced back from a difficult pre-season test in Bahrain to dominate the early stages of the current season with Lewis Hamilton scoring three wins from the first four races.
In Spain, Red Bull lost out after Mercedes pitted the British driver for a second time, a strategic gamble Horner said was not open to his team.
“That would have been a hell of a bold decision to pit from the lead on lap 42 when all the predictions are that the tyres should and would have got to the end of the race," he explained.
"It wouldn’t have been the fastest way to the end of the race but track position is crucial here.
"And also remember they had a set of mediums available to them. we had a set of softs that wouldn’t have had the range that those mediums would have had.
“I think the reality is that whatever we would have done, they just had a faster car with slightly less degradation than us."
In the last eight visits to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Mercedes has taken victory seven times with the only exception being Max Verstappen's debut for Red Bull in 2016, which he won after Hamilton and Nico Rosberg collided on lap one.
Horner continued: "We’ve got to take the positives out of the weekend that we managed to push Mercedes this close at this circuit, at a track where they were a long way ahead of us last year and one that has been a strong point for them.
“We’ve got to take the positives out into the next race in Monaco.”
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