Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is anticipating the F1 title fight with Mercedes to be a "swings and roundabouts" affair for the remainder of the season.
Mercedes emerged from the opening four races with a 29-point lead over Red Bull but following two disastrous grands prix in Monaco and Azerbaijan for the reigning seven-time champions it now trails by 26 points heading into this weekend's event in France.
The closing stages in Baku delivered drama and any one of three drivers could have emerged victorious before Sergio Perez ultimately took the chequered flag after team-mate Max Verstappen suffered a tyre failure and Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton made a braking mistake at the restart.
Assessing the title picture, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said: "Max could have come out of that weekend putting 10 points onto his championship lead, 10 or 11 with the fastest lap if he'd finished where he was with five to go, so he could have been 15 up.
"He's still four up but at one point he was also looking like he could be 21 down if Lewis had nicked the victory.
"So it's swings and roundabouts, and it's going to do this throughout the championship while the performance is so close, which makes it so exciting to be part of. It motivates everybody in the team to a whole new energy level."
Perez now playing his part for Red Bull
The key factor for Red Bull is that it finally appears as if it has a second driver it can rely on as Perez was in place to pick up the pieces following Verstappen's incident.
If Red Bull is to wrest the constructors' crown from Mercedes at least, having Perez in the mix affords it an opportunity it has not enjoyed for many years.
"It was great to have both cars up there obviously," added Horner. "It's an added string to our bow, on a day you lose the lead car, that Checo was right there to deliver the win, and that's exactly what we've been looking for.
'To see him get that victory will be great for his confidence. It puts him to third in the drivers' championship now, so he's ahead of expectation.
"So I'm delighted for him, pleased for the team with the amount of effort that's been going on behind the scenes, and for all our partners as well that are working incredibly hard.
"It's everybody doing their bit and Checo being part of that."
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