Red Bull came out on top of their battle against Mercedes in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix as Max Verstappen won 22 seconds ahead of Sir Lewis Hamilton. Team principal Christian Horner has revealed what it will take to stay one step ahead of their rivals in the 2021 F1 season.
Red Bull and Max Verstappen put the pain of the first race of the season to bed at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix as the Dutchman brought home a comfortable victory ahead of the Mercedes of Sir Lewis Hamilton.
After missing out on a win at the Bahrain Grand Prix from pole position, Verstappen managed the second race brilliantly after beating Hamilton off the starting line and maintaining his lead, eventually finishing ahead of his championship rival by 22 seconds.
While it remains early days in the championship, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner revealed to RacingNews365.com and select members of the press what he thinks will be the deciding factors in the 2021 title race.
"It’s all going to be about marginal gains, it’s going to be about who can develop the car effectively within the budget cap obviously. It’s going to be about reliability, operational incremental gains, human performance and it’s going to be about the drivers," he said.
"That’s what it should be about fundamentally, the two best drivers in the sport going head to head."
Horner also cautioned that the championship race remained in its early days, and that while both teams would likely have certain circuits that play into their hands, it was too early to tell the exact pecking order especially as Mercedes looked to have improved from their struggles during winter testing.
"I certainly hope we can sustain this level of performance. Mercedes, you can see the progress they have made since a difficult start in the Bahrain test, they are in good shape and they are not standing still. So we need to keep pushing, trying to find performance and make sure that we have perfect weekends," he said.
"I’m sure there will be circuits as the seasons pans out, there will be strengths and weaknesses that probably will play to both teams.
"But we are only on Race 2 and there is such a long way to go, I think it’s going to be approximately four races in that you get a clearer picture of the strengths and weaknesses of the two teams and cars."