Despite struggling throughout pre-season, Red Bull were confident of a strong performance at the Australian Grand Prix, Christian Horner claims.
With Lotus sitting out the first pre-season test at Jerez, Red Bull finished at the bottom of the time sheets at the Spanish track, before struggling with various issues at the following two tests in Bahrain.
Despite the problems with the RB10 car from both a pace and reliability perspective, Daniel Ricciardo qualified on the front row and finished the season-opening race in second place, before being disqualified for contravening fuel flow regulations.
Ahead of this week's Malaysian Grand Prix, the Red Bull Team Principal told Autosport that he was confident that they would challenge for top honours at Albert Park.
"We've never believed that we won't be and we will keep fighting as hard as we can to fight ourselves back into competitiveness," Horner told Autosport on Monday.
"It has been a horrible pre-season for us, but if anybody is capable of making up ground quickly then we have demonstrated in the past that we are able to do that.
"We know we have got the basis of a good car.
"We know we have got issues to sort out, we just have to work hard to get on top of them quickly, together with the guys from Renault. We are doing our best to support them.
"[Melbourne] was the best opportunity that we have really had to work on the car with set-up and the first opportunity to drive the car properly."
Sebastian Vettel agrees with Horner regarding Ricciardo's surprisingly strong showing and the potential of Red Bull's 2014 car, but admitted that he was taken aback by the Australian's pace throughout the weekend.
"The result was no great surprise - what was a surprise was to see that the car is fast and we can compete at the front. The potential is there," the four-time World Champion told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper.
"So it gives us hope and that's why I'm in a good mood.
"As for the car, there is still much to learn but there is no reason to hang the head."