We are five races into the season, and Red Bull seems to be comfortably in the lead. Christian Horner and his team have won all the races so far this season.
After five races, Mercedes and Ferrari seem nowhere close to Red Bull’s pace. Although Ferrari was able to challenge Red Bull in qualifying, they were nowhere close to the Austrian team during the races. Christian Horner doesn’t seem to be impressed with the team’s competitors during an interview with Sky Sports.
Christian Horner – “Where did Ferrari and Mercedes go?”
During an interview with Sky Sports, Christian Horner said this:
“Five races, five wins, plus the Sprint, four one-two finishes… We’ve never, ever had a start like this, we’re kind of wondering where are the others. We haven’t… We’ve made a normal step, what we would think, over the winter, and I think it’s more where did Ferrari and Mercedes go? They’re working hard on, I’m sure, big upgrades for Europe.”
According to Christian Horner, the team has not taken any major steps forward during the winter break. He seems to think that Mercedes and Ferrari have slacked off during the winter break allowing Red Bull to dominate so far this season.
“With the penalty, we have to develop the car later in the year, it’s important for us to get as much fresh air as we can between ourselves and the opposition at this stage.”
Red Bull received a penalty last year for crossing the budget cap during the 2021 season. This penalty gives them a reduced Wind Tunnel time to develop their car. So we might not be seeing big upgrades coming to the car this season. Red Bull will aim to take advantage of the car as it is now to build a gap between the other teams.
Smoooooth overtaking from Max Verstappen in Jeddah 🧈 #SaudiArabianGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/NZBKKhnXGy
— Formula 1 (@F1) March 20, 2023
“The team is operating at such a high level. It’s not just what you see here, it’s what’s going on behind the scenes, the support from back in the factory… The way that the whole team is operating is phenomenal.”
“[We’re looking at] every area. There’s always something that we can improve on. I think you learn a lot at every Grand Prix and out of every situation.”
Although the team is performing at its possible best at the moment, Horner is still looking to develop the car as much as possible. He will also have to focus on the developments for the 2024 season.
How long can Red Bull stay dominant?
As the season started, Red Bull’s competitors realized that they are far off the pace. George Russell said he won’t be surprised if Red Bull wins every race this season. However, the 2021 budget cap penalty which was handed out to Red Bull last year, might slow down the development rate for the current car and the 2024 car as well.
George Russell expects Red Bull to win every single race this season 😳 pic.twitter.com/CETLLxqihe
— ESPN F1 (@ESPNF1) March 5, 2023
The penalty gives them a reduced Aerodynamic Testing time for this season. Their competitors will be having a lot more testing time than Red Bull, especially Aston Martin. Red Bull will be hoping to utilize the time they have and hope that their competitors are not able to catch up with them too much.
Formula 1 is yet to release the regulation changes for the 2024 season. If there are major changes introduced, we could see other teams close the gap and maybe even beat Red Bull in 2024.
There will be a major regulation change concerning the power unit for the 2026 season onwards. During the car launch this year, Red Bull announced that they will be partnering with Ford, for their power unit needs. It will be interesting to see if Ford is able to provide a powerful and reliable engine. Let us now wait and see how long Red Bull stays dominant.