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Christian Horner

Horner: 'Inevitable' Red Bull will be caught by F1 rivals

Christian Horner feels it is just a matter of time before Red Bull's major rivals will latch onto the back.

Horner Red Bull Saudi Arabian GP
To news overview © XPBimages

Christian Horner believes it is "inevitable" that Red Bull's lead over the Formula 1 field will continue to shrink following upgrades by rival teams. 

In Miami and at Imola, McLaren and Ferrari introduced sizeable upgrade packages to their cars, with McLaren's Lando Norris defeating Red Bull's Max Verstappen for victory in Miami - and coming within a second of a similar result at Imola. 

The results have given rise to hope of Red Bull and Verstappen being challenged for the 2024 titles after the combination won 34 of the 44 races through the first two seasons in the ground-effects era, including 19 in 2023.

As the rules cycles mature into a third season, Red Bull team principal Horner stated that he was "amazed" Red Bull has been so far ahead for so long.

"It is inevitable, we are in year three of these regulations, so it is inevitable that you are going to get convergence," Horner told media including RacingNews365 of the gaps closing at the front of the field.

"It is amazing that we've managed to stay ahead for so long, but as the cars converge in look and shape, and therefore lap-time, it is inevitable that there is going to be strong competition. 

"We fully expect [that to be the case] in Monaco, it is a unique layout on the calendar and of course, it all comes down to that one lap [in qualifying].

"There is always a pressure to improve and nobody puts more pressure on ourselves than from within the team. 

"We're convergence and we're seeing different types of venue and different compounds of tyre as well, and I think form will fluctuate from circuit to circuit."

Of the leading three teams, Red Bull is the only one not to introduce a big upgrade package to its launch-spec car thus far, with Horner believing the development window was beginning to close.

"We are a bit more iterative, so obviously we've brought some pieces here and there," he said of the decision not to bring a big package as yet.

"They've done what they said on the tin, but when you start to get to the top of the curve, you get into a law of diminishing returns in terms of the amount of development that is earning its place on the car.

"Of course, with the cost cap, you have to be very selective over when you introduce those upgrades."

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