After a difficult start to the season, Red Bull CEO Christian Horner believes Mercedes will join the championship fight ‘fairly soon.’
Mercedes, the eight-time world champions, have struggled with the car so far in the 2022 season. As a result, they have been unable to compete for pole positions and race victories, with Red Bull and Ferrari emerging as the primary championship contenders.
Mercedes, on the other hand, brought a number of upgrades to Miami, including a new low downforce rear wing, an updated front wing, and a revised beam wing, and showed encouraging pace on Friday, with George Russell taking P1 in Free Practice 2.
Asked about his mindset in fighting Ferrari rather than Mercedes this year, the Red Bull chief replied, “It’s a different competition. You’re writing Toto off, but his car was quickest [on Friday] — there’s plenty of time for him to get back in the show.”
“Last year there was a lot of needle, there was a lot going on, off-track as well as on-track, whereas this year seems much more focused about what’s going on on-track. I think the racing’s been great between Charles and Max,” he said.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff argued that the package was not a “ground-breaking solution,” which appears to have been confirmed in Saturday’s qualifying session, where Lewis Hamilton finished P6 behind Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas, while Russell could only manage P12.
“The first four races have been epic, and if that continues through the season, inevitably it’s going to boil over at some point as it gets more competitive and the stakes get higher in the second half of the year. But certainly, what we’ve seen so far has been very respectful racing — hard racing but fair racing. I think you’re going to see Mercedes joining that party fairly soon,” Horner said.
(Inputs from IANS)