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Christian Horner

Horner on lobbying: It's been a clear strategy from Mercedes

The Red Bull team boss has suggested Mercedes are strategically trying to get under their rival's skin in off-track matters.

Wolff Horner
To news overview © Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool

Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner believes Mercedes are pointing the finger at their rivals in off-track debates to try and rattle Red Bull.

Mercedes pushed hard earlier in the season to make it clear that Red Bull's rear wing was flexing whilst both teams have been very vocal in the last two weeks on accident damage due to events in Silverstone and Budapest.

“They've put an awful lot of energy into that, more than you would expect,” Horner told Autosport about the intense lobbying from Mercedes. “It’s been a clear strategy.

“But I think it just shows that they see us as a threat. And I think that you're doing something right when people start pointing fingers.”

Red Bull and Mercedes have been embroiled in one of the most intense battles Formula 1 has seen this century. Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen are split by just eight points in the Drivers' Championship at the halfway mark of the season.

Horner thinks the similarity between this year's and 2020's technical regulations have helped Red Bull mount their first serious title challenge in the turbo-hybrid era.

"We've benefited obviously from a degree of continuity of the carryover components,” said Horner.

"I think the fact of the correlation had come together, that we understood where our issues were and were able to address those, I think that was the key element, certainly for the first six months of this year.

“We were actually concerned the rules were going to have a big effect on the high rake cars. I think it was a combination of things: that we managed to understand some of our issues, managed to address an awful lot of them and just make a more rounded packaged.

“I think that, combined with Honda pulling their engine that was originally scheduled for 2022 into this year, being that final season in Formula 1, which was a Herculean effort on their side. It has enabled everything to come together.”

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