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Red Bull’s Horner: Reliability is the top priority

Jan 2, 2014, 4:21 PM EDT

Red Bull Formula One team principal Christian Horner checks the sky during the qualifying session of the Australian F1 Grand Prix at the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne Reuters

Until they are knocked off their perch, four-time defending World Champions Red Bull Racing should be considered the team to beat in Formula One.

However, with the new turbo V6 engines and energy-recovery systems making their debut in 2014, they know that they’ll need reliability from its equipment in order to stretch their dominance into a fifth consecutive season.

“Reliability is the number one challenge,” team principal Christian Horner recently told Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat. “But of course, we also want a lot of performance from the car from the very start in Australia. It means the amount of work in front of us [this winter] is phenomenal.”

Horner’s team certainly had a phenomenal finish to the championship this past season as Sebastian Vettel closed out his fourth consecutive drivers’ title with a season-ending streak of nine wins in a row.

But even after that impressive display, Horner realizes there’s room to improve for the Milton Keynes-based group.

“We did a good job in 2013 but it wasn’t perfect, and that motivates us to improve on those areas in which we did not meet our targets,” he told the Finnish paper.

“That doesn’t mean that we expect to win next season. We want to win, but the competition is very hard, and we know how quickly everything can change at the top in F1. Nothing can be taken for granted.”

And something tells us everyone else at Red Bull besides Horner and Vettel is thinking the same way.

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