Horner Explains What Red Bull Must Improve to Beat Mercedes in 2021

Published 12/22/2020, 5:11 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Red Bull’s Alexander Albon in action during qualifying Pool via REUTERS/Bryn Lennon


Red Bull are the only team that came anywhere close to challenging Mercedes. The team finished at P2 on the Constructors’ standings with 319 points. Mercedes won with a difference of 254 points.

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Although the difference between the two seems overtly large, the Milton-Keynes based outfit was the only team to bring the fight to the Silver Arrows.

However, the gap in points is also because Red bull was driving without a wheel. Red Bull’s second driver, Alex Albon, had a tough season as he failed to deliver to their expectations. Meanwhile, Max Verstappen had a good season and missed the P2 position by just 9 points.

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Red Bull displayed an incredible race at the season finale. Max Verstappen led every lap and won the race comfortably. He even joked about reducing the power a little towards the end of the race. As Alex Albon finished the race behind Silver Arrows at P4.

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 13, 2020 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates winning the race Pool via REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

However, it’ll take a lot more from the Austrian team to stop Mercedes’ domination. Christian Horner said, “I think we’ve improved the car significantly. I think we’ve understood what those issues are and I think that, hopefully, that can be further addressed as we go into next year.

“We need a car that performs at a whole variety of circuits, which Mercedes have been very good at producing. That’s where we need to be strong next year. We’ve got to be strong on all types of circuit, particularly with a 23 race calendar,” he further said.

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Red Bull expects to be a strong challenger next season

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates with a trophy on the podium after finishing in second place Pool via REUTERS/Bryn Lennon

Horner added, “It’s not a start from scratch again. Obviously, a large percentage of the car does carry over, but where we start in Barcelona [testing] in a couple of months’ time is going to be pretty much where we finish [this year] with the relevant upgrades on it.”

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Beating Lewis Hamilton next season will be a tall task. However, Verstappen would like pip Valtteri Bottas to finish at P2 at least. Meanwhile, Red Bull will hope that Sergio Perez will help them battle the Silver Arrows this season.

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Ayush Manjunath

586 articles

Ayush Manjunath is a Formula 1 author for EssentiallySports with more than 500 articles to his name. A Law graduate and a current Sports Management student, Ayush also has a certificate from UCLA on Sports, Media and Entertainment Management. He has an undying love for motorsports and lives to see Max Verstappen, George Russell, Charles Leclerc, and Lando Norris battle for the championship one day!

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