Red Bull F1 team principal Christian Horner believes Mercedes AMG F1 is now back in the game after the Spanish Formula 1 Grand Prix, where the German manufacturer’s team secured a podium finish with Russell, and fifth place for Lewis Hamilton after the British driver made a comeback from last place following contact on the first lap of the race.
Last weekend in Barcelona, the Mercedes team, like many other teams on the grid, introduced a number of improvements to its car and it was clear that the upgraded W13 was showing very good pace on track, particularly in Sunday’s race where George Russell was able to take his second podium of the season, while team-mate Lewis Hamilton made a remarkable comeback to cross the line in fifth place after crashing into Kevin Magnussen on lap 1.
The result keeps Mercedes in third place in the constructors’ championship, 49 points behind Ferrari, and makes them one of only three teams on the grid to have scored more than 100 points after six races.
For Christian Horner, there was no doubt that Mercedes would bounce back after a complicated start to the season:
“They are back in the championship. I said from the first race that they are a very, very strong team, they have a great strength, and you can see that they made a big step forward this weekend [in Barcelona], this weekend was positive for them,” said Christian Horner on Sunday night in Barcelona.
In Spain, Red Bull completed a one-two finish with Max Verstappen winning and Mexico’s Sergio Perez finishing second, meaning the Milton Keynes-based team goes into this week’s race in Monaco leading the constructors’ championship for the first time since the start of the season. But Christian Horner is well aware that this result has been greatly helped by the retirement of Charles Leclerc, who remained the fastest driver on track since the start of the weekend in Barcelona.
“We don’t underestimate any of our rivals and I think Ferrari had a horrible day today [Sunday], but their pace was again very, very strong this weekend. So I think it’s only going to get tighter.”
Mercedes test driver says Hamilton’s view of his chances unrealistic
One of F1’s most experienced writers pens “Hamilton believes he could have fought it out for the race win”, had he not clashed with Magnussen during the early stages. Lewis revealed there were ‘experiments’ on team mate George Russells car that gave him an advantage over the 7 times world champion.
“They experimented with something on George’s car that ultimately proved to be the better….. READ MORE ON THIS STORY