Horner Takes a Cheeky Swipe at Mercedes After Norris’ Austrian GP Qualifying Performance

Published 07/04/2021, 7:02 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner during a press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS


The qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix was no short of drama. While Lewis Hamilton failed to qualify in the top three, Red Bull qualified ahead of both the Mercedes, and Sebastian Vettel’s three-place grid penalty was a whole another altogether.

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But despite all that action, the most surprising of all was Lando Norris securing a place on the front row. This marks the best start for the young Brit as well as McLaren’s first front-row start since Brazil 2018. Furthermore, it proves that Mercedes’s power in the Woking team’s rear is enough to compete for the world championship this season.

Lando Norris was only 48 thousandths slower than the drivers’ championship leader, Max Verstappen. Therefore, it is a statement for Mercedes who repeatedly criticized Red Bull about their Honda engine.

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And Red Bull team principal, Christian Horner, was quick to take a swipe at Mercedes accusations after the qualifications.

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What did Christian Horner say?

“That was very close against McLaren. I mean, this Mercedes engine obviously runs well in the rear of McLaren, because its speed on the straights was extremely strong,” he added with a grin. “I’m sure they will play a role in the race,” said the Red Bull team principal.

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.

“Of course we don’t know what the weather is going to do, so we have to be prepared to be able to respond. But it’s great to have both cars on the grid in front of the Mercedes. That’s a great starting position,” Horner concluded. (Translated via Google Translate)

Red Bull to seek another victory at Red Bull Ring

Max Verstappen is currently in the form of his life. The Dutch secured back-to-back poles for the Milton Keynes outfit, helping the team achieve their first hat-trick of poles since 2013.

Verstappen’s teammate, Sergio Perez, whose struggles were quite evident in FP and qualifying, managed to secure a strong P3. With both the RB16B qualified ahead of the Silver Arrows, Red Bull will look to further extend their lead in the constructors’ championship.

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Formula One F1 – Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – July 3, 2021. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during practice REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger.

McLaren’s Lando Norris is thus sandwiched between the two Red Bulls and starts the race alongside Verstappen from the first row. Reigning Champion, Lewis Hamilton will start alongside Perez from the second row. Whereas, Valtteri Bottas will start behind Perez from P5.

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Can Red Bull register yet another victory in their own backyard? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Pingaksh Sharma

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