Christian Horner admits that "not one ounce" of him wishes that Red Bull's 2022 battle with Ferrari was as close as their duel with Mercedes in 2021.
The title fight between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton went down to the wire last year, with the championship decided in contentious circumstances on the final lap of the season-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Verstappen was crowned World Champion, while Mercedes took a record eighth consecutive Constructors' win.
Throughout the campaign, the battle between the two sides boiled over to a tense relationship between team bosses Horner and Toto Wolff.
In contrast, relations between Red Bull and Ferrari appear to have been much more harmonious during the 2022 season, but this does not mean that Horner would like to see the Scuderia performing even better.
Horner doesn't want repeat of 2021 "heavyweight bout"
When asked if there is any element of him that wishes Ferrari were a bit closer in the fight – given that the Italian outfit currently trail Red Bull by 97 points – Horner made it clear that this is not the case.
"There's not one ounce of me that wishes that!" Horner told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"Last year was a heavyweight bout that went 22 rounds, and I prefer not to have to go through that again."
The duel between Red Bull and Ferrari is not over yet, though, with nine races still to play out when the 2022 season resumes after F1's summer break.
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Horner expecting "intense" second half of 2022
Formula 1 will return with a triple-header comprising of Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy when the campaign gets back underway in late August.
Horner believes that it could be a tough run of events.
"I think it's going to be intense after the break," the Red Bull boss explained.
"The triple-header's always hard work, so I think everybody deserves to recharge their batteries over the [summer break], and then come back and hit it hard, because we're really in the heart of the championship."
Verstappen currently leads the World Championship standings by 80 points from nearest rival Charles Leclerc.
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