"It's just a different kind of competition" - Red Bull team principal compares the 2022 Ferrari rivalry to the 2021 Mercedes one

Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner talks in the Team Principals Press Conference prior to the 2022 Miami GP in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner talks in the Team Principals Press Conference prior to the 2022 Miami GP in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Niharika Ghorpade

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner feels the rivalry in the 2022 season is much more pleasant compared to the one in the 2021 season. However, the team principal refused to write off Toto Wolff and Mercedes just yet, both in on and off-track battles.

On being asked whether he had any ammunition against Ferrari and Mattia Binotto off-track for the Netflix audience during the FIA Team Principals press conference, Horner reflected upon the 2021 battle with Mercedes and said:

“Well, Mattia is a nice guy. So I mean, it's just a different kind of competition. But you're writing Toto off, we're only four races in and his car was quickest yesterday, so there's plenty of time for him to get himself back in the show.
But, look, I think we're very much focused on ourselves. All nine teams are our competitors. And I think, you know, last year, there was a lot of needle, there was a lot going on off track, as well as on track, whereas this season, this year seems much more focused about what's going on on track.”
A nice chat between Toto Wolff, Zak Brown and Christian Horner. Toto and Christian didn’t seem to have any bad blood here. #F1 #MiamiGP

The Red Bull team principal believes that the rivalry with Ferrari is different compared to the pantomime thriller with Wolff and Mercedes. Refusing to write-off his 2021 rivals, Horner reflected upon the intense rivalry as a unique one and how he expects his Silver Arrows sparring partner to join the party soon. He praised the Ferrari team principal and said that at the end of the day, Red Bull is just going to focus on themselves.

Red Bull team principal believes the fair battles between Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc have made the season interesting

While Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen have praised each other's racing styles, the Red Bull team principal believes that their rhythm with each other on the track has been respectful and has made the racing enjoyable so far.

The duo have admitted to enjoying hard and fair racing for the last four races and reliving their karting memories. However, Horner believes the wheel-to-wheel action between the two could get more competitive as the season progresses.

Highlighting the uniqueness of the on-track battles in the 2022 season, Horner said:

“I think the racing has been great between Charles and Max. And, you know, 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, you know, very respectful racing, hard racing, but fair racing.”

Commenting on Red Bull’s 2021 championship rivals, the Briton said:

“As I said, I think you're going to see your Mercedes joining that party fairly soon.”

As Ferrari have locked out the front row for the 2022 Miami GP, the momentum of the season is unfolding in a similar fashion to last season. However, with an unpredictable race ahead, it will be interesting to see how Red Bull capitalise from the second row on the grid.

Edited by Anmol Gandhi


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