Red Bull chief Christian Horner has aimed a two-word dig at Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes as he admitted he isn’t missing the battle with the Silver Arrows this season. The Austrian team have built up an enormous lead in the Constructors’ Championship, while Max Verstappen is well ahead in the Drivers’ Championship.
Red Bull ace Verstappen wrestled with Hamilton throughout last season as the duo went nose-to-nose in the championship race. And the Dutchman was eventually able to get his hands on his maiden F1 title in December after winning a controversial one-lap shootout at the end of the season-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The energy drink giants didn’t have enough to win the Constructors’ Championship, however, as Mercedes won the title for the eighth consecutive year.
But it’s been all change on the track this year after teams were forced to redesign their cars over the winter in the wake of a plethora of F1 rule changes. The Silver Arrows were hit by severe porpoising problems at the start of the season, with Hamilton and his team-mate George Russell unable to compete with their counterparts for race victories throughout the spring.
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Verstappen’s main title rival this season has been Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, with the Monegasque ace currently in second place in the standings. The duo appear to have a less strained relationship than Verstappen had with Hamilton last year. And Horner has put that down to the respect they have for one another.
“Those two drivers have grown up with each other since they were kids,” the Red Bull boss added. “There’s a lot of respect between the two of them. There’s not the needle perhaps, or the tension that there was last year. I think the racing has been sensational this year and hopefully long may it continue.”