Horner is stunned by Red Bull’s “unbelievable” start

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Christian Horner acknowledges that Red Bull’s blistering pace at the outset of the new age of restrictions surprised him.

Max Verstappen, the reigning World Champion, has won all three races he has competed in this season, and was set to finish second in the other two until his Red Bull broke down late in the race.

These two victories went to Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who now leads the Drivers’ standings by 19 points over Verstappen, while the Scuderia leads the Constructors’ by six points over Red Bull.

Mercedes, who had previously dominated the turbo hybrid era, appears to be falling behind with the W13, making it a head-to-head battle for both crowns.

Last year’s championships were a titanic battle between Red Bull and Mercedes, and team chief Horner expressed concerns that this would affect preparations for 2022 and the RB18.

However, the car’s performance has allayed those misgivings – at least when its reliability holds up, which it did not in Bahrain and Australia.

“Having put so much effort into last year’s car, to then come on to these new regulations, we elected to take a risk because we had an opportunity to win last year and you have to go for it,” Horner told CNN.

Christian Horner
Christian Horner, Oracle Red Bull Racing

“That put huge pressure on the team, going into the second half of last year, that we had to play catch-up. Personally, I didn’t expect us to start this year as competitively as we have.

“To be on the front row at the first race, to win the second race, to win and get a one-two in Imola and win in Miami has been an unbelievable start for us, and I think testimony to all the team for doing such a phenomenal job in such a short space of time.”

At the Spanish Grand Prix, Verstappen will look to make it three wins in a row to close the gap on Leclerc.

“There is a long, long way to go and it’s so tight with Ferrari. There has been some great racing,” added Horner.

“I was rather hoping we weren’t set for another competitive year like last year but it looks like this one could go all the way as well.

“It’s horses for courses and Miami suited us. We were able to make it work and thankfully got the result.”

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