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Horner's double warning for Ferrari as Red Bull land first blow

Red Bull boss Christian Horner saw his team score their first win of the new season in Saudi Arabia with Max Verstappen standing on the top step.

Christian Horner has assured his team's rivals that the misfortune suffered by Red Bull back in Bahrain will be balanced out over the course of the season. Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez were both forced to retire their cars during the season opener, before fighting back to claim a win and a fourth-place finish one week later in Saudi Arabia. For Red Bull, the fuel pump issue suffered by both cars during the season-opener was a case of bad luck. That stance was not shared across the paddock, however, with Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton telling his team as he crossed the line that day: "Well done for the hard work, reliability is so important." Despite returning to the top step in Saudi Arabia, that double-DNF has left Red Bull 41 points behind Ferrari in the Constructors' Championship, with Verstappen still 20 points behind Charles Leclerc in the Drivers' Championship.

Horner: We've got to build some momentum now

But, with 21 races still to go, Horner is expecting there to be plenty of twists and turns between now and December's finale in Abu Dhabi. "I think it's so early in the season. Luck tends to even itself out over the course of a year, so I think that we have just got to go race by race," said Horner, speaking to select members of the media, including RacingNews365.com . "We're off the mark now. We're on the scoreboard. We've won our first race of the year. Both drivers have been, again, very competitive. We've just got to build some momentum now"

Horner has "no doubts" that Mercedes will join title fight

For now, it is Ferrari and Red Bull that are seen to be fighting it out at the front of the pack. However, Mercedes remain second in the Constructors' standings, with their reliability making up for their obvious pace deficit. The general consensus remains that Mercedes, which themselves claim to have "plenty of work to do" before they can battle for wins, will find a way to catch their rivals soon. And, this time in a warning to both his team and Ferrari, Horner agrees. "I have no feeling about their competitiveness. Obviously, I'm focused on our competitiveness. This is a very intense fight with Ferrari at the moment," he said. "I have no doubts that, at some point, Mercedes will join that battle, but my focus is very much on our team."

Where Red Bull got it right with 2022 regulations

Mercedes' early-season woes have been blamed by some on their relentless push to close the gap on Red Bull during the final round of the 2021 season, leaving them somewhat unprepared for the new 2022 regulations. However, Red Bull were intertwined in the very same nail-biting fight – so what have the team in Milton Keynes done right that their Brackley rivals have failed to nail? "I think that you can see there's a big variance of interpretations of the rules, and I think that we've come up with a creative solution," said Horner, keeping his cards close to his chest when asked that very question. "I think it gives us good potential for the season ahead, so to get this early victory, you know, it's fantastic for the whole team."

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