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Christian Horner

Horner: Mercedes remain title favourites despite Red Bull improvements

The Red Bull F1 team principal said that the German champions are still the team to beat despite showing some signs of vulnerability towards the end of last season.

To news overview © Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has said Mercedes remain in pole position to take home their eighth consecutive Formula 1 title this year despite his team making notable improvements towards the end of 2020 after a shaky start to the year.

While Max Verstappen managed to pull off a decisive victory in the final race of last year at Abu Dhabi, historically a track which has favoured Mercedes, in a head to head battle, Horner remained cautious about how far Red Bull have closed the gap to the champions ahead of 2021, according to Auto Motor und Sport.

"The question is how far below Mercedes has gone there and what the effect is that they had to cut performance because of the reliability issues. Still, you still have to beat them. The win was good for us, but I'm afraid he has also helped to motivate Mercedes even more," he said.

"They are still the favourites. They had an incredible car last year and the main features will be at the start this year as well."

The Red Bull boss also lamented the team’s slow start to the 2020 season after it had issues squaring up the data it had gathered from its wind tunnel sessions to the reality of driving the car on track.

"We took the first noticeable step forward at Silverstone. We had problems with the aerodynamics. What we saw in the wind tunnel did not correspond to what we had expected. We first had to recognise where we were," he said.

"There was also the fact that Mercedes made a significant step with both the car and the engine. We could already see that from the winter test drives in Barcelona."


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