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Christian Horner

Horner issues Red Bull 'unicorn' instruction as F1 rivals increase pressure

The Red Bull boss is crystal clear what he wants to see from his team gping forward.

Horner Spain
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Christian Horner insists Red Bull must "ignore 2023" as it looks to defend its Formula 1 titles amid renewed pressure from the field. 

Last season, Red Bull won 21 of 22 races, with the RB19 setting a whole host of new records in both the Drivers' and Constructors' championships. with Max Verstappen scooping 19 of those wins.

In 2024, he has seven wins from 10 races up to the Spanish GP, but McLaren, Ferrari and now Mercedes have eaten into the lead of the RB20, with Red Bull struggling at times over recent races for car set-up and with reliability concerns 

As the team gears up for the fight, Horner feels that the 2023 season was a "unicorn" and one that Red Bull should firmly leave behind as "normal" F1 returns.

"You [should] ignore 2023, we had an amazing [year], it was a unicorn, but this is normal," Horner told media including RacingNews365. 

"There are great teams and great drivers, there is going to be competition, and this is the benefit of stable regulations, it always converges.

"I remember when I first came into F1, Ron Dennis said to me: 'if you want close racing, just leave it alone' he said in an F1 Commission meeting.

"Everything always converges and that is what we're seeing at the moment, and we're going to smash it all up for 2026 

"We're having to fight really hard for wins at the moment, and have to be on top of our game as a team - and that is Formula 1 how it should be."

Spanish satisfaction

In Spain, Verstappen defeated McLaren's Lando Norris in a strategic duel on a weekend the MCL38 was probably just the faster car. 

Red Bull has experience in 2024 of winning races by large margins or by a handful of seconds, with Horner being more 'satisfied' at the narrow Barcelona win than if Verstappen had won by a larger margin.

"I would prefer winning races by 40 seconds, it is less stressful, but I take more satisfaction out of a race win [like the Spanish GP], because everybody has had to deliver," Horner added.

"Max was outstanding, the team has delivered, the engineers and strategists have delivered, the simulations, everything that has gone into the races, has delivered."

Also interesting:

Verstappen's brilliant win, as Norris is continuing to develop as a driver. Perez's struggles and Lewis Hamilton's return to the podium are also discussed!

Join the latest episode of the RacingNews365.com podcast, reflecting on the Spanish Grand Prix and looking ahead to this weeked's Austrian Grand Prix!

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