Red Bull boss Christian Horner has admitted he has no sympathy for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell amid a troublesome 2022 season. Mercedes have been left behind by Red Bull and Ferrari at the start of a new era in F1 this year, but there is undoubtedly no love lost between Horner and the Silver Arrows.
Toto Wolff’s team have been off the pace in a season ahead of which they were hopeful of a ninth consecutive constructors’ championship. Mercedes, on 120 points in third, trail leaders Red Bull by 75 points and Ferrari by 49 after just six races, and the scene isn’t any brighter in the drivers’ standings.
Hamilton has been hit the worse by extreme porpoising, heavily affecting straight-line speed, with the seven-time world champion already 64 points behind Max Verstappen. And while Russell has impressed in his debut year as a full-time Mercedes driver, he is fourth and has little chance of challenging for the world title.
But the duo are receiving no sympathy from Horner, who will be delighted with both standings, especially after early-season reliability issues for Red Bud. He told the Evening Standard: “There’s no time for sympathy. It’s not a matter of sympathy or gloating. It’s about focusing on your own issues.”
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Horner and Wolff have been embroiled in a long-standing rivalry at the front of the F1 grid, and it met its climax last season during Hamilton’s fierce title battle with Verstappen. The pair regularly clashed on the radio with former race director Michael Masi and aimed digs at each other in interviews.
But Horner isn’t likely to be missing the rivalry, and Mercedes’ absence at the front of the grid, as he pursues Red Bull’s first constructors’ title since 2013.
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The Spanish Grand Prix provided hope that Mercedes had partly solved their issues, especially in practice and qualifying, with Russell earning a spot on the podium in Barcelona and Hamilton battling back from an early setback to finish in P5.
Wolff will be eager to see further improvement at this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix, one of the biggest showcases of the F1 season. But it seems like, at the moment at least, Horner is paying Mercedes little attention in his bid for more silverware.