Testing may not have gone "anywhere near as well" as what Red Bull wanted but Christian Horner is adamant they will rebound.
Although Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel enter this year's Championship as the title defenders, the dream of securing a fifth double is under threat before even the first race.
Never mind struggling for pace during pre-season testing, Red Bull battled just to put in the laps.
Issues with the RB10 and its Renault power unit plagued the reigning Champions, who managed just 183 laps in the final test, less than half of pace-setters Williams.
But despite their issues, Horner insists his team is ready to fight.
"Pre-season hasn't gone anywhere near as well as we would have liked or hoped, but it doesn't in any way defer our challenge, and make a dent in our drive and our ambition - if anything it only fuels it further," he told The Telegraph.
Pushed as to whether he believes Red Bull will even make it out of Q1 come Melbourne, the team boss added: "To be honest with you, we have no real idea. We know we don't have the pace to challenge the Mercedes teams at the moment, but it's very much a case of see where we are in Melbourne. Then we know the scale and magnitude of what we have to climb.
"We don't even know our starting point at the moment, so it's impossible to make predictions sitting here in Milton Keynes a week prior to the first race. But I have every confidence in the team, and in Renault, that we can make it. Our target is (to catch up) as soon as possible."
And Horner is confident it is only a matter of time before Red Bull do just that.
"We have enjoyed great success in the last five years, and we've got a very talented group of people. It's exactly the same group of people designing the current car. I don't think we're paying too much attention to what people are saying.
"You don't become idiots overnight. We've got a very strong group of people here. There's a real determination. You only have to look at the amount of hours going in. It's massive.
"Some superhuman efforts are going in to get on top of the issues, to try and ensure we're in as good a shape as we can be in Melbourne and build from there. It's a marathon of a grand prix season, rather than a sprint."
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