Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen are separated by just one point in the 2021 F1 drivers' standings, with Christian Horner stating that the DRS at the start of the lap at Imola is why the Mercedes driver is ahead.
The battle between the two drivers is expected to last for much for the season, with the duo matching results (win and second place) after the opening pair of races. While that would make them even in the standings, Hamilton holds a one point lead after picking up an extra point for setting the fastest lap at Imola, a fact that isn't lost on Horner.
"Lewis rode his luck, but once they [Mercedes] are on the same spec of tyre in clean air they look very, very competitive," Horner told RacingNews365.com and other members of the media. "Indeed, he got the fastest lap.
"I think he had the benefit of the DRS at the beginning of that lap, which is sort of a free four tenths, but it's, it's very, very tight."
As for the battle between Mercedes and Red Bull, Horner believes the teams will alternate positions throughout the season based on the opening two rounds.
"It's about getting the most out of the car on a case-by-case basis but I would say Mercedes, again, like in Bahrain look a bit stronger at the end of the stints than we did," Horner concluded.