Red Bull boss Christian Horner surprised by good start to 2012

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer

Team boss Christian Horner says Red Bull "certainly did not expect" to lead the drivers' and constructors' championships after Bahrain.

Sebastian Vettel's victory, combined with a poor race for McLaren drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, has the German topping the standings.

"This season is going to ebb and flow," Horner said after the grand prix win.

"It is a matter of taking the maximum out of the races you can't win and at the races you can you need to deliver."

Vettel's victory means four different drivers in four different teams have won the first four races of the season - the first time that has happened since 1983.

The first four races have been remarkable for the wildly fluctuating performances of the teams - with Vettel taking pole in Bahrain a week after qualifying 11th in China just one example.

Horner said: "To predict this performance after one week ago is tricky. But we have consistently managed to be scoring pretty decent points in the first three races.

"That puts us in the lead of the drivers' and constructors' championships after the flyaways (long-haul races), which is certainly not we were expecting after the first couple of races.

"So it just shows that if you maintain your focus and team-work, it can pay dividends."

That point was underlined by McLaren's Jenson Button, who is third in the championship after retiring from fifth place with three laps to go because of a broken differential caused by a puncture.

Button said: "I think I would have been leading if I'd finished in the position I was.

"It's frustrating to come away with no points. Two races I've finished in the points, first and second, and the other two I've had disasters really."

The other winners this year have been Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg, in China, and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso in mixed wet-dry conditions in Malaysia.

The Spanish double world champion slipped from third to fifth in the championship after finishing seventh in Bahrain, 10 points behind Vettel.

Alonso said: "We maximised the points position. Four races, we lost eight or 10 from the leader of the championship, this is damage limitation big time with our package at the moment.

"But we need to improve, we are in this position thanks to the mixed results we see every weekend.

"This is helping us, but what really occurs for us it to improve the package and not depend on results of others.

"We need to do our proper job which at the moment we are not doing."

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