Sport

Red Bull’s fight with Ferrari ‘more respectful’ than Mercedes

Christian Horner revealed how Red Bull’s battle with Ferrari differs from the team’s 2021 clash with eight-time Constructors’ Championship winner Mercedes.

Despite Max Verstappen beating Lewis Hamilton in a championship fight last year that went down until the final lap of the final race, the Silver Arrows took home the Constructors’ Prize.

“There is a lot of tension between Mercedes and Red Bull,” team boss Christian Horner told the Post ahead of Sunday’s Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix.

“[They’re] 10 miles up the road from our factory and you have the engine side too,” he added, referring to the several engine employees who recently left the team to join Red Bull Powertrains.

In the opening races of the 2022 season, Verstappen battled wheel-to-wheel with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc while Hamilton’s Mercedes car struggled to find pace.

“There’s a respectful rivalry,” said Horner of the Italian team. “There’s not quite the same intensity.”

Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen, left, speaks with team principal Christian Horner before the Formula One Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park Circuit in Melbourne, Australia April 10, 2022.
Max Verstappen, left, talks to Christian Horner before the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix.
EPA

His comments came amid a disappointing result in Australia for the reigning world champion, who appeared to be second to Leclerc before having to retire his car with 20 laps to go.

It was the Dutchman’s second retirement in just three races.

“We put so much into last year’s World Championship that we thought we were the last team to go into the 2022 regulations,” said Horner. “Of course it was important to us that we start the season with the backfoot.”

“I think Ferrari is very strong at the moment [but] Mercedes will solve their problems, I have no doubt about that. … Our main focus is ourselves.”

Horner later told reporters the result was “extremely frustrating” as the team dropped to third place in the constructors’ standings.

“We cannot accept DNFs, but we need to understand what the problem is and address it,” he said. “I’d rather fix a fast car than try to make a reliable, slow one fast. We have to get there.”

Ferrari are now 39 points clear of second-placed Mercedes, while Red Bull are a further 10 points behind.

https://nypost.com/2022/04/10/red-bulls-battle-with-ferrari-more-respectful-than-mercedes/ Red Bull’s fight with Ferrari ‘more respectful’ than Mercedes

JOE HERNANDEZ

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