Horner Explains Why Mercedes F1 Battle is ‘More Political’ Than Previous Ferrari & McLaren Clashes

Published 10/02/2021, 6:38 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – May 20, 2021 Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner in the FIA Press Conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES


As the situation in the drivers’ Championship standings currently shows us — Red Bull driver Max Verstappen and Mercedes Driver Lewis Hamilton are separated by a mere 2 points. And let’s not forget there are seven races left for this season of F1. So, who will win the crown, who will lose it — it all depends on tactics, strategy, and a lot of ‘politics.’

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According to Red Bull boss Christian Horner, the last one is quite important this season, as he believes this year’s title fight is a “lot more political” than their past title fights with Ferrari and McLaren.

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Horner is taking another jab at Mercedes with his “political” comment

Just a few days ago, Horner stated slyly that he loves winding up Toto, the Merc boss. While it is the first shot at the World Championship for Verstappen, it is the eighth probable victory for Hamilton. So, without a doubt, Mercedes has a lot to lose.

The mercury has been rising on the race track, thanks to clashes between Max and Hamilton, who do not wish to leave an inch of space for one another. And in the paddocks, Horner and Wolff are having their own kind of battle.

Formula One F1 – Dutch Grand Prix – Circuit Zandvoort, Zandvoort, Netherlands – September 5, 2021, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton on the podium with champagne after winning the race Pool via REUTERS/Francisco Seco

While speaking to the media, Horner revealed how he feels about this high-stakes fight with Mercedes. He said, “When we competed against McLaren for the championship and Lewis was driving for them, and when we were competing against Ferrari with Fernando Alonso and Stefano Domenicali, it was a very different atmosphere to this one.

This has felt a lot more political with lots more going on behind the scenes. The inbox from Toto to the FIA, they are going to need a major clear-out at the end of the year.

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Toto has never been in a position where he has been challenged. He inherited a very competitive team from Ross Brawn and he has done a great job in maintaining that but this is the first time he has had this kind of pressure and people react to pressure in different ways.

Monza clash was a no tactical foul, according to Christian Horner

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The Austrian Boss of Mercedes did not shy away from making comments when it came to attacking the Red Bull F1 team. He said Max and Lewis’ collision at Monza was a major “tactical foul.”

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 26, 2021, Mercedes’ Team Principal Toto Wolff with Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS

In return, Horner chipped in with his own statement about this. “I was really disappointed to hear Toto call it a tactical foul,” he said, speaking on this topic. “Max is a racing driver and he is going to go for a gap and both drivers knew how important it was to be ahead and neither wanted to concede.”

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With this constant back-and-forth between the two team bosses and the fierce on-track duel between Max and Lewis, the Red Bull-Mercedes title fight has reached its climactic moment. In the next seven races, the Champion will be decided, and then we’ll see who has the last laugh. Till then, this season of F1 is surely keeping fans on the edges of their seats!

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Riddhi Mondal

72 articles

Riddhi Mondal is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. Having previously worked as a student reporter at The Statesman, she is an ardent follower of all things F1. A nerd through and through, the complicated physics that goes into the cars is what drew Riddhi to the sport.

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