Red Bull team boss Christian Horner expects Mercedes AMG F1 to be able to fight at the front of the Formula 1 field “soon” after a difficult start to the season. In fact, the Red Bull team boss is adamant and knows that Toto Wolff’s boys Lewis Hamilton and George Russell will be fighting at the front for sure.
Since the start of the year, the Mercedes team has struggled to make its car work, with Red Bull and Ferrari becoming the main title contenders. However, Mercedes introduced a series of improvements to its W13 in Miami, including a new low-downforce rear wing and a new front wing, which clearly allowed both drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell to take a step forward in terms of performance in Friday’s first free practice.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff argued that the package was not a “revolutionary solution” – a view apparently confirmed in Saturday’s qualifying session, when Lewis Hamilton finished behind Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas in P6, and Russell could do no better than P12. Asked about his mindset in battling Ferrari rather than Mercedes this year and how that dynamic might be portrayed on screen in the Drive to Survive series, Horner was keen to stress that Mercedes will be back.
“It’s a different competition [to last year], you talk about Toto [Wolff], but his car was the fastest [on Friday]. I think they have plenty of time to come back. Last year there were a lot of twists and turns, there was a lot going on, both off-track and on-track, whereas this year it seems to be much more focused on what’s going on on track,” said Horner.
“I think the battle is great between Charles [Leclerc] and Max [Verstappen]. The first four races have been epic, and if that continues throughout the season it will inevitably spill over at some point as the competition becomes more competitive and the stakes rise in the second half of the year. But certainly, what we’ve seen so far has been a very respectful race – a tough race but a fair race and I think you’ll see Mercedes join that party pretty soon.”
Ahead of the Miami Grand Prix, which takes place this Sunday (May 8), the Mercedes team sits third in the constructors’ world championship, 47 points behind leader Ferrari.