Adrian Newey admits he found the Red Bull RB8 "very frustrating" as he struggled to understand the car in the early stages of the season.
Having dominated in 2011, Red Bull found the start to 2012 much tougher as it only won three of the opening 13 races. The team went on to take both the drivers' and constructors' championships after Sebastian Vettel won four races in a row from Singapore onwards but Newey admitted that it was a testing start to the season.
"We came out with a car which had flashes of pace," Newey told Servus TV. "Sebastian won in Bahrain, Mark [Webber] won in Monaco. But we didn't have the level of consistency we wanted, and as an engineer that was very frustrating because the truth is we didn't properly understand the car and what was happening.
"We made a step at Valencia and then we made a further step in Singapore and that gave us that purple patch where Sebastian won four on the trot which really set up the Championship challenge."
While Red Bull has now won both championships for three consecutive seasons, team principal Christian Horner warned the team that it can't rest on its laurels over the winter.
"The dangerous thing in Formula One is to underestimate your rivals," Horner said. "And in Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes-Benz, Lotus we saw this year, they're massively strong teams, very motivated. We've managed to achieve some wonderful things the last three years and of course we'll be very, very determined to retain the trophies that we've worked very hard to achieve. But you can take nothing for granted and that's what forms a large part of our motivation going into 2013." ESPN F1
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