Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says he can empathise with Mercedes after their F1 Championship-winning run came to an end in 2022. Mercedes had claimed every Constructors’ title since 2014 heading into this campaign, but troubles with its W13 machine restricted them to just one race win as Lewis Hamilton went winless for the first time in his career. They slumped to third in the standings as Red Bull and Max Verstappen racked up 17 and 15 wins respectively, securing their own first Championship 'double' since 2013 – the final year of the V8 engine formula. Speaking after what was Red Bull’s most dominant season ever in F1, Horner admitted he knows exactly what Mercedes and team boss Toto Wolff are feeling.
Horner: Red Bull understand Mercedes' pain
"We went through that pain [of losing]," Horner explained to Sky Sports F1 in Abu Dhabi. "In 2013, we finished that very dominant streak and in '14 with the change in the [regulations], we were nowhere. "We never lost belief [but] people's heads dropped but you have to keep focused on a target. "Many of the people that we have today are still with us from 2013, as many new people have joined the team as well. "Everybody's just kept focused on that, on that challenge, on that goal of getting back into a winning position. "We did it last year, and this year we've really gone a step further and to get that Constructors' title back after a very long eight years. It's testimony to all our hard work and dedication and belief that's gone in."
Horner reflects on successful season
Red Bull's previous best tally of wins in a season came in 2013, scooping 13 courtesy of Sebastian Vettel, but this season's combination of Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen delivered 17 between them, as Red Bull racked up 759 points in the Constructors' Championship. Horner was keen to point out just how much effort had gone into the year - especially as the team was last to switch focus to the new cars after their Drivers' Championship push in 2021. "It's been immense, and we've had the odd lump and bump along the way, but when you look at the season, what we've managed to achieve this year has surpassed anything we could have ever believed," he explained. "Last year took every ounce of energy out of every member of the team - that was something that I don't think any of us have ever experienced before. "Then this year, there's been highs and lows and we've had issues to deal with. "One of the biggest things we've had to deal with is the loss of Dietrich Mateschitz. "To have won this championship, we have to dedicate it very much to him and everything we've done this year."