Red Bull focused on long game despite taking F1 championship lead

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Red Bull insist there is still "an awfully long way to go" despite claiming the lead in both Formula 1 championships in Monaco.

Not only is it the first time since 2013 that the Milton Keynes-based outfit has topped the standings, but it's also the first time in the hybrid era, making them the third team to do so after Mercedes and Ferrari.

It came about after the cards aligned in Monte Carlo, as Max Verstappen took the victory and Sergio Perez was fifth, while Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes only scored nine points with P7 plus the fastest lap.

“It was important to take our chances here,” said team boss Christian Horner.

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“Mercedes had a rare off-day and it was important to convert that. So as a team, we’ve done that.

“We leave here leading both championships for the first time in the hybrid era, so that’s really encouraging.

“Nobody is getting carried away, there’s still an awfully long way to go in this championship [but] to be as close as we are at this stage is very encouraging.”

With a further 18 races to go, there is definitely a lot that can and likely will happen between now and Abu Dhabi in December.

And the Red Bull chief is excited to see how it plays out.

“I hope it goes all the way to the wire,” Horner added. “That’s what the fans would love to see, it is what they have been crying out for, although I don’t know if my nerves could take it.

“There’s nothing more exciting than racing Lewis Hamilton, and that’s what we want to do.

“There are tracks coming up that will suit us, and there are some that will suit Mercedes,” he noted. “I’m sure this championship will ebb and flow.”

 And that fact is also not lost on Verstappen, who notes the current standings mean nothing for his F1 title hopes.

“Taking the lead in the championship feels good but we need to be there at the end of the final race, that’s all that matters,” said the Dutchman.

‘Where we are now, we feel good and of course, it shows that we had a decent start to the year but we have to keep on pushing because we still need to improve and do better. Nobody is ever perfect or standing still in this sport.

“So far we have made the smallest mistakes but nothing major and that is why we are first at the moment but we all know it can change very quickly.”