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Horner reflects on intense Mercedes battle in 2021

There is no denying that the 2021 Formula 1 season was one of the most fiercely contested in some time, both on and off the track.

While Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton fought for his record-breaking eighth world title, Red Bull's Max Verstappen was giving it his all to secure his maiden crown. However, the intense battle between the two drivers on the circuit was not the only fight going on, with team bosses at Mercedes and Red Bull arguing so fiercely at times it almost boiled over onto the circuit. Red Bull's chief, Christian Horner, has explained that he has never experienced such an intense rivalry with another team boss - Mercedes counterpart Toto Wolff - in his entire career.

Horner: I tried to stay true to our values

"To be honest, I tried to stay true to our values, keep a cool head and do my job to the best of my ability. But you could see that sometimes emotions were running high," he told The Telegraph. "It's something I've never seen with any other competitor, and I've raced against the likes of Ross Brawn, Stefano Domenicali, Ron Dennis and Flavio Briatore. I've never seen such a reaction." With determination to keep the championship in their corner again this season, Horner admitted that the rivalry between themselves and Ferrari, who are currently fighting it out at the front of the grid, will not resort to the mudslinging seen in 2021.

"Life is too short to hold a grudge"

"The fight will be limited to the action on the track, which is healthy. That's how it should be," he said. "Last year it turned into a lot of political stuff off the track and a bit more playing in the background. Now it's a lot less personal." Looking back, Horner can see that things became a little too heated, but now, it is all in the past and the most important thing is to keep the trophy where he believes it belongs. "Life is too short to hold a grudge or to look back. The trophy is in the cupboard and the important thing now is that it stays there," he concluded.

RESULTS 2024 F1 pre-season testing - Day 2