"We're just going to have to tread water for a moment until we get ourselves back onto the front foot and our time will come again," Red Bull team principal Christian Horner told Autosport. The 2015 season was "a different challenge," but that the team vitally still has all its key staff in place, and it's prepared to work hard to rediscover the winning form they'd established in previous seasons... even if it takes a while.
"The team have done a tremendous job of getting their head down and focusing on the chassis. And the chassis was developed and developed through the year, and I believe we've got a very strong chassis," said Horner. "Certain things, which are beyond our responsibility, we can't control. You can only worry about the things that you can control."
The element that Horner refers to as beyond his control is the same piece of the puzzle that toppled Red Bull off the podium in the first place: the Renault engine. Though Red Bull and Renault together dominated the championship four years running, the French manufacturer missed the boat when it came to developing its new engine package under the hybrid turbo V6 formula that came into effect in 2014. Instead Mercedes took its place at the front of the field, and tensions grew between Red Bull and Renault to the point that the former went looking (ultimately unsuccessfully) for a different engine supplier, and the latter has now thrown its focus behind the re-acquired Lotus team.
In the end Red Bull will still be under Renault power next season, albeit rebranded under the TAG Heuer name. With nothing tangible changed for the team next season, its performance likely won't either. And nobody seems more cognizant of that likelihood than Horner.