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Red Bull’s battle with Ferrari more ‘respectful’ than Mercedes

Christian Horner revealed how Red Bull’s battle with Ferrari differs from the staff’s 2021 conflict with eight-time constructors championship winners Mercedes.

Although Max Verstappen defeated Lewis Hamilton final year in a championship battle that went right down to the ultimate lap of the closing race, the Silver Arrows took dwelling the constructors prize.

“There’s an awful lot of tension between Mercedes and Red Bull,” staff principal Christian Horner advised The Post forward of Sunday’s Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix.

“[They’re] based 10 miles up the road from our factory, and you have the engine side as well,” he added, referencing the a number of engine personnel who not too long ago left the staff to affix Red Bull Powertrains.

The opening races of the 2022 season have seen Verstappen preventing wheel-to-wheel with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, whereas Hamilton’s Mercedes automotive has struggled to seek out tempo.

“There’s a respectful rivalry,” Horner stated of the Italian outfit. “There’s not quite the same intensity.”

Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing, left, speaks with team chief Christian Horner before the Formula One Grand Prix of Australia at Albert Park Circuit in Melbourne, Australia, on April 10, 2022.
Max Verstappen, left, speaks with Christian Horner earlier than the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Australia.
EPA

His feedback got here amid a disappointing lead to Australia for the reigning world champion, who seemed set to complete second behind Leclerc earlier than having to retire his automotive with 20 laps to go.

It was the Dutchman’s second DNF in simply three races.

“We put so much into last year’s world championship that we thought we were the last team to come onto the 2022 regulations,” Horner defined. “It was obviously a concern for us that we would start the season on the back foot.”

“I think Ferrari are very strong at the moment [but] Mercedes will solve their problems, I’ve got no doubt about that. … Our main focus is on ourselves.”

Horner later advised reporters the outcome was “desperately frustrating,” because the staff fell again into third place within the constructors championship.

“We can’t accept DNFs, but we need to understand what the issue is and address it,” he stated. “I’d rather fix a fast car than try and make a reliable, slow one fast. We need to get on top of it.”

Ferrari are actually 39 factors forward of second-place Mercedes, whereas Red Bull trails an additional 10 factors behind.

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