Christian Horner issues warning to Red Bull staff in Mercedes and Ferrari prediction | F1 | Sport

Christian Horner issues warning to Red Bull staff in Mercedes and Ferrari prediction | F1 | Sport

Christian Horner has warned his team against complacency as Red Bull look to make it three consecutive Constructors’ Championship titles. He predicted that Mercedes, Ferrari and McLaren would pose the biggest threat to that achievement next season.

The Milton Keynes-based team dominated the 2023 season from start to finish, winning 21 of the 22 Grands Prix as Carlos Sainz’s triumph on the streets of Singapore prevented Red Bull from becoming the first team in F1 history to win every single race in a season.

With the RB19 proving to be arguably the strongest machinery in F1 history, Max Verstappen broke records left right and centre as he claimed an unprecedented 19 Grand Prix victories on his way to a third successive Drivers’ Championship crown, including ten in a row between the races in Miami and Monza. 

Asked by Sky Sports about any changes to the RB19 over the winter, Horner replied: “I mean nobody stands still so you know we’ve got a great basis so it’s more evolution than revolution. But I’m sure it’s going to converge a bit next year so we can’t rest on our laurels.”

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The Red Bull team principal was then asked who he deems to be the biggest threat to his team’s dominance in 2024, responding: “They’re all great teams. I mean McLaren’s form at the back end of the season [was strong], Ferrari, Mercedes. I think those big teams are going to be coming out all guns blazing next year.”

Red Bull have a considerable advantage over the three teams mentioned by Horner, given that they have been focusing 100 per cent on the RB19’s successor since the Singapore GP in mid-September.

Despite shifting their development focus at that point, they still maintained a comfortable gap to the likes of McLaren, Mercedes and Ferrari come the season finale in Abu Dhabi. Verstappen claimed his final win of the campaign at the Yas Marina Circuit, crossing the line with an advantage of just under 18 seconds to second-placed Charles Leclerc.

These concerns were echoed by Lewis Hamilton after the race. He said: “For Red Bull to win by 17 seconds in the end and they haven’t even developed their car since August is definitely a concern. But we’ve learned a lot about the car and it’s just down to the team now. They know what they need to do. Whether or not we will get there, we will see. »

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