Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is under no illusion Mercedes will "bounce back" at some stage following an unheard-of run of three consecutive race defeats.
For the first time in F1's turbo-hybrid era that commenced in 2014 and after seven successive drivers' and constructors' championship successes, Mercedes is under severe pressure in its bid to retain its titles.
Going into the race at the Paul Ricard Circuit, Horner had claimed if his team could beat Mercedes in France then it could do so anywhere.
Asked as to how he felt for the rest of the campaign following the success in France, Horner said: "We went into the race knowing it would be one of Mercedes' strong circuits, so it’s fantastic we had a big score here.
“It’s the win Max should have had two weeks ago [in Azerbaijan but for a tyre blowout] but you can see how close it is.
"There’s nothing between the two cars so we’ve just got to keep pushing, keep looking for performance and pushing all the way through.
“There’s such a long way to go in this championship and you can’t take anything for granted.”
It now appears clear, however, that in the RB16B Red Bull has a car on which it can beat Mercedes on all types of tracks after doing so on low- and high-speed street circuits, as well as more conventional medium- and high-speed venues.
But Horner is fully expecting a Mercedes resurgence at some stage.
"It is just testimony to how hard the team has worked over the last 12 months, and particularly through the pandemic," added Horner.
"When you look at the dominance their car had last year, and let’s not forget 60 per cent of the car is carryover, it’s the same chassis they were winning all of those races last year.
“So the team has done a phenomenal job and we’ve just got to keep that momentum going because Mercedes is such a strong team.
"It’s only a matter of time before they bounce back but we’ve just got to keep doing what we’re doing.”
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