“Last year, there was a lot of needle,” Christian Horner compares the intense Red Bull rivalries with Mercedes and Ferrari

After a heated year against Mercedes, Red Bull is enjoying a calmer one against Ferrari.

Christian Horner, Toto Wolff and Mattia Binotto
Christian Horner, Toto Wolff and Mattia Binotto

Red Bull and Mercedes‘ rivalry from 2021 is the one that will be remembered for ages. While their drivers fought for the title on the track, their team principals, Christian Horner and Toto Wolff, fought off the track. And this is where the current fight between Red Bull and Ferrari is different.  

While Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen are engaged in continuous battles, there seems to be no “hatred” between the two. The racing has been clean and aggressive so far, with no heated words exchanged between the two or their teams.

Christian Horner, Red Bull’s team principal, spoke on this exact difference between the championship fights of this year and last year’s, to which he said“Well, Mattia is a nice guy. So I mean, it’s just a different kind of competitionBut you’re writing Toto off. There’s plenty of time for him to get himself back in the show. But, look, I think we’re very much focused on ourselves. All nine teams are our competitors.” 

He added, “I think last year, there was a lot of needle, there was a lot going on off track, as well as on track, whereas this season, this year seems much more focused about what’s going on on track. And I think the racing has been great between Charles and Max.” 

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Christian Horner reviews the battle between Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc

Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc

Max and Charles have engaged in hard racing this season. Their relationship so far has been cool, with one of the reasons being that the two drivers have grown up side by side as a racer and a person, unlike Max and Lewis’ in 2021.

Horner talking of the fight at the top of the championship table said, “I think it’s so tight with Ferrari, it’s been some great racing, and you can see that there’s a great respect between Charles and Max.”

“They’re enjoying racing each other, you can see that, and I was rather hoping we weren’t set for another competitive year like last year. But it looks like this one could well go all the way as well,” Horner concluded.

Charles, too, talked about his relationship with Max. He confessed that both of them hated each other but now hold respect for the other as their dream of F1 has come true, and the duo has grown.

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