Christian Horner admits that it’s hard to draw too many conclusions on the true state of play at the front of the field after the first two races.
“I think the only good thing is that the fans are in for a good year,” said the RBR boss. “The pace has moved around an awful lot, and today was quite peculiar because if you look at it, Sergio Perez was the quickest man on track. He was catching a Ferrari and pulling away from a McLaren.
“Based on today’s performance, they were the quickest car/driver combination, so hats off to them for that. But not one perhaps you would have expected.
“You’d have got pretty good odds before the weekend on Sergio Perez harrying Fernando Alonso for a victory! We’re just going to be focussed on our own performance and stick to our own plan.
“It’s difficult to draw too much out of the first couple of races. We know we’ve got things we can improve on, and that’s what we’ll be focussed on for China. But it’s fairly unpredictable at the moment.”
Horner concedes that keeping on top of tyre management will be the key.
“I think it will be about consistency and understanding the tyres. The tyres seem to be the biggest variant, they seem to have probably changed the most from last year. As you can, [it was] see different cars at different points – suddenly Kimi Raikkonen came alive at the end of the race and started setting purple sectors. The tyres appear to be a key factor.”