'No silver bullet' but Red Bull hopeful of closing on Mercedes in 2021

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There's no "silver bullet", but Red Bull remain confident of closing the gap to Mercedes in 2021.

After strong gains with Honda last year, this season was seen as the best chance for Max Verstappen and the Anglo-Austrian outfit to challenge the domination of the Brackley-based team.

Instead, through a combination of a tricky RB16 and Mercedes making strong engine and chassis gains, Lewis Hamilton has scored eight poles and six wins to put himself firmly on course to score his seventh Formula 1 championship.

But despite seeing their rivals pull clear once again, team boss Christian Horner remains convinced the German manufacturer is not at a level that Red Bull can't match.

"There is no silver bullet," the Briton said post-race in Sochi. "We need to improve across all areas of the car. So the whole team and together with Honda, we are focused on doing that.

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"Mercedes has done a very good job this year: it is probably their most complete and rounded car probably of the last six or seven years for them.

"So, they've set the bar very high but, you know, that's what we have to aim for."

Right now the expectation is that Mercedes will continue to dominate in 2021 due to restrictions on development for next season put in place to overcome the financial impact of Covid-19.

And while the Red Bull chief acknowledges the huge overhaul in regulations coming for 2022 offers the best chance to beat them, he won't give up on next year just yet.

“I think ’22 is the big opportunity,” he said. “I think ’21 when you consider the DNA of these cars is carried over, there’s a lot of carryover parts but that doesn’t mean to say if we can unlock more potential in our car and develop the car effectively then yes, of course, I think we can close that gap.

"You know obviously we're working very hard to understand and unlock further performance in the car between now and the end of the year.

"There's about three months left of hard development and the whole team is very focused on that.

“It’s always a combination,” he added referring to the work with Honda. “It’s about working together. We share the same goal, we share the same objective and I’m confident we can collectively get there.

“Mercedes have had such a period of domination but as we all know in sport, at some point in time, that will come to an end, that’s inevitable.”