F1 News: Christian Horner Fights Back After Damning Mercedes Comments

Christian Horner of Red Bull Racing defended his team's car updates against criticism from Mercedes' James Allison.
Christian Horner, Team Principal of Oracle Red Bull Racing, speaks at the Red Bull Fan Zone, a private event at Oracle headquarters, on Wednesday October 18, 2023.
Christian Horner, Team Principal of Oracle Red Bull Racing, speaks at the Red Bull Fan Zone, a private event at Oracle headquarters, on Wednesday October 18, 2023. / Jay Janner/American-Statesman / USA

Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing's team principal, has launched a robust defense following critical remarks from Mercedes' James Allison about the recent performance updates to the Red Bull cars.

After the Imola Grand Prix, Allison, the Technical Director at Mercedes, suggested that Red Bull's RB20 updates might have caused the car to regress rather than improve, noting:

“I think that Red Bull will be strong again when it is necessary to bring a lot of speed into corners.

“But their updates so far seem to have been a downgrade. Let’s keep our fingers crossed and continue to work to improve.”

Despite such stinging criticism, Red Bull managed to secure a win at the Canadian Grand Prix, which only fueled Horner's counterargument. In response to Allison's comments, Horner pointed out the victory as evidence of Red Bull's sustained competitive edge, remarking, as quoted by GPBlog:

“I think Mercedes have always gone very well on green circuits, and there were no real high-speed corners here… let’s see over the next two or three tracks if its genuine form or a one-off.

“Well, even with our downgrade, we managed to beat their upgrade.

“So it was a rewarding race to win.”

Meanwhile, the results from the challenging conditions in Montreal at the Canadian Grand Prix demonstrated the capabilities of Mercedes' W15 car, yet the warmer, more conventional track upcoming in Spain may offer a clearer picture of whether Mercedes' improvements hold substantial merit. Toto Wolff, Team Principal for Mercedes, maintains a positive outlook on their progress, believing firmly in the developmental trajectory of the team. He commented:

"But we need to take the positives. The car has made a real step forward, we are bringing bits and the development direction is true.

"I hope so. Barcelona will be a good test because it has all sorts of corners."


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Lydia Mee

LYDIA MEE

Lydia is the lead editor of F1 editorial. After following the sport for several years, she was finally able to attend the British Grand Prix in person in 2017. Since then, she's been addicted to not only the racing, but the atmosphere the fans bring to each event. She's a strong advocate for women in motorsport and a more diverse industry.