Red Bull chief makes fresh dig at Lewis Hamilton as Max Verstappen set Mercedes challenge | F1 | Sport


Red Bull Racing workforce principal Christian Horner has taken a fresh dig at Lewis Hamilton, insisting {that a} “large percentage” of Mercedes’ dominance is due to their automobile moderately than the seven-time world champion’s driving skill. Horner in the meantime insists Red Bull and Max Verstappen have to be extra constant from race to race to finish the Silver Arrows’ Formula One monopoly.

Mercedes have gained all the final seven Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships and earlier than even unveiling their W12 challenger for 2021 are main favourites to assert each titles but once more.

Hamilton is searching for a fifth straight title to maneuver on to eight and overtake Ferrari nice Michael Schumacher as the outright most profitable driver of all time.

Verstappen although will harbour hopes of thwarting the Mercedes driver and ended the 2020 season robust with victory at the calendar-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The 23-year-old completed on the rostrum in 11 of the 12 races he accomplished final 12 months, struggling 5 DNFs which finally denied him the prospect to complete above Valtteri Bottas within the driver’s standings, having to accept third.

Both Hamilton and Mercedes boss Toto Wolff have spoken of Red Bull’s menace for 2021 as the Austrian drinks big look to win their first titles since 2013.

DON’T MISS: Rosberg has proven large job Bottas and Verstappen face vs Hamilton

The Milton Keynes-based outfit have posed an inconsistent championship menace in current seasons, with Bottas ending second to the supreme Hamilton in each 2019 and 2020.

Horner says he doesn’t know when Red Bull will really have the ability to challenge Mercedes each single week however hopes 2021 will be the 12 months they achieve this, with Sergio Perez becoming a member of Verstappen after a effective marketing campaign for Racing Point (now Aston Martin) final 12 months.

And he made positive to get a dig in at Hamilton, insisting the world champions’ dominance is borne from their automobile moderately than Hamilton’s racecraft. 

“Mercedes were so dominant last year. That DNA is probably the large percentage, obviously, of their current car,” Horner mentioned.

“We demonstrated in Abu Dhabi that they are beatable at a track that they’ve been unbeaten at the previous six or seven years.

“We simply want to have the ability to do this on a constant foundation throughout the 22 or 23 races. I feel that we’re gathering momentum.

“We need a car that performs at a whole variety of circuits, which Mercedes have been very good at producing. That’s where we need to be strong next year.

“We’ve bought to be robust on all varieties of circuit, significantly with a 23 race calendar. Nobody has a crystal ball, it is unattainable to sit down right here and predict. We’ve simply bought to give attention to every race at a time, get probably the most out of it we will.

“Make sure that we do the best job we can with the new regs for 2022 within the confines of the regulations. And then we’ll see. It’s impossible to have a crystal ball to say.”

Speaking final 12 months, Horner claimed that George Russell’s spectacular stand-in efficiency at the Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain proved that Mercedes’ success is because of their equipment, not the drivers.

“Max and Lewis stand out for me, but although we should definitely not be blind to what Hamilton has achieved, he does have a good package at his disposal,” added Horner.

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“That while Max has to get more out of his car. At Mercedes, a Williams driver can qualify himself directly on the front row and Russell almost won the race.

“However, if at Red Bull somebody needed to get into Verstappen’s automobile, for instance if Max had corona, no person would attain his degree.

“His [Verstappen’s] qualifying performances are of an exceptional level and his race craft is excellent, just like his tyre management.

“Max has grow to be higher at ‘studying’ the race, giving suggestions to the workforce, but in addition coping with disappointment, for instance. He has matured very a lot in these areas.”

Wolff however hit back last month: “You can solely evaluate a driver if they’re in the identical automobile.

“We haven’t seen Hamilton race against Russell, so you can’t judge that. We also haven’t seen Charles Leclerc in a top car. I have a high opinion of Sergio Perez and I am curious how he compares to Verstappen.”

Asked if the Dutchman has reached his peak, Horner declared: “No, I don’t think so. The others have a hard time compared to Max’s performance.

“If you look at his efficiency in Abu Dhabi, his pole was phenomenal after which he managed the race in a really mature method from begin to end.”

The upcoming 2021 F1 season gets underway at the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 28, with pre-season testing commencing at the same circuit across March 12-14.

Mercedes will meanwhile unveil their W12 car on March 2 with Red Bull launching their challenger much earlier, on February 23.

Red Bull recently confirmed that they had secured a deal with Honda to run with the Japanese company’s power units until 2024.

The manufacturer will leave F1 at the end of 2021 but Red Bull, and AlphaTauri, will continue to use their technology having formed a new company, Red Bull Powertrains Limited, to oversee the project.




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