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Christian Horner

Red Bull not suddenly dealing with a 'bad car' – Horner

Christian Horner has insisted that Red Bull do not now have a bad car after appearing to be caught by McLaren and Ferrari.

Verstappen race Monaco
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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has stressed that the outfit are competing in a "marathon, not a sprint" with McLaren and Ferrari, who appear to have caught the typically dominant outfit. 

The Milton Keynes-based side have not had the strongest car in the past three races, despite Max Verstappen winning the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Red Bull's RB20 has struggled to perform on bumpy surfaces and circuits where riding the kerbs is key to a strong lap time, resulting in the outfit being slower than Ferrari and McLaren in Miami, Imola and, most recently, Monaco.

Whilst some have jumped to the conclusion that a title fight is on the cards, McLaren boss Andrea Stella has remained cautious

Stella believes Red Bull's performance after the Canadian Grand Prix – another venue where riding kerbs is vital – needs to be seen before getting excited about a title fight.

Horner has spoken in similar vein and thinks judgement should not be made until a few races after next weekend's Canadian GP.

"I think McLaren made a big step, I think Ferrari's step was very subtle," Horner told select media including RacingNews365

"So let's see over the next two or three races, we're now getting into the meat of the championship. So let's see Montreal, Barcelona, Austria, Silverstone, let's see over the next few circuits how things pan out. 

"It's a marathon, not a sprint. And, obviously, we expected this to be a tough weekend for us. Qualifying was difficult, obviously, yesterday, which then dictates where you are in the race today."

Understanding weaknesses pivotal

The reason why Stella is remaining cautious is because after the Canadian GP, F1 will go to several significantly smoother circuits. 

As a result, the general expectation is that Red Bull's dominance will likely return, with Horner also acknowledging that the RB20 should work very well when the sport returns to Europe.

Most of all, the Red Bull boss is adamant that they do not suddenly have a "bad car".

"We don't take anything for granted," Horner added. "But I think those tracks will play more to the strengths of the [car]. 

"The car has won five races, a second place in Miami and won two sprint races. So it's not like it has gone from being a good car to a bad car. 

"It's just this circuit hasn't played to our strengths. So we need to understand what are those weaknesses and how do we address them."

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RESULTS 2024 F1 Spanish Grand Prix - Qualifying