Christian Horner makes admission about Red Bull concern after Lewis Hamilton title fight

Max Verstappen has dominated the 2022 championship.

Red Bull team principal, Christian Horner, believes that his team are currently performing better than they ever have done before.

The Austrian side won their first title with Sebastian Vettel in 2010, with Mark Webber helping them to teams’ success, and that pattern would repeat itself for three more years afterwards.

The turn of the hybrid era was not kind to the Milton Keynes-based outfit though, as Mercedes took over and established a period of utter dominance of both championships that would last seven years.

Sir Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, between them, won seven drivers’ titles between 2014 and 2020, while the German side picked up the Constructors’ Standings in each of those seasons with the help of Valtteri Bottas.

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Hamilton and Bottas also brought home gold for the team last year, but it was Max Verstappen who would partially break Mercedes’ astonishing period of success by claiming the Drivers’ Championship in dramatic fashion in Abu Dhabi.

He went hammer and tong with Hamilton for the title over 22 exhilarating rounds of thrilling action, and he looks all set to claim his second title in the coming weeks.

Verstappen’s 11 wins in 2022 have taken him 116 points clear of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, and Sergio Perez’s win in Monaco leaves the four-time champion’s tally at 12.

There are still six rounds to go of the season, so there is every possibility of the team eclipsing even the greatness achieved by Vettel and Webber a decade ago.

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All of that has taken place amid huge regulation changes which, after a mammoth title fight, Red Bull have still thrived under, where Mercedes, sadly for them, have not.

“I would say so,” Horner told the Beyond the Grid podcast when asked if this is the best season he has seen from Red Bull since their arrival into Formula 1 in 2005.

“In 2021, we were operating at an incredible level and we finally got a sniff of putting a challenge together for a world championship and that was a 22-race championship bout, a heavyweight fight from race one to race 22. 

“What has been particularly pleasing about this year is despite colossal regulation changes we had to undergo coming into this year – and we honestly thought we had compromised this year by putting everything we had into last year – the team came up with an amazing car, a super car.

“Max has made another step, Checo has felt more part of the team this year with a lot more familiarity.

“To be sitting here having won 12 grands prix, and with 16 podiums so far has been an incredible season for us.”

Due to the focus that was needed to compete for the title last year, Red Bull had less time than most to switch their focus onto the new ground effect-oriented cars that have been introduced this year.

However, they still had the capacity to emerge from an arduous winter with one of the best cars on the grid.

“We were probably the last team to transition onto the ’22 regulations,” explained Horner.

“We went quite late on development through ’21 because when you have a sniff of a championship, we would have kicked ourselves if we hadn’t done everything you possibly could, which meant compromising ’22.

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“But the team in Milton Keynes, whilst we were away fighting for the championship, did an incredible job over the winter to come up with the RB18 which has been potentially our most successful car ever.

“From the first race, we were right there, so [it is] tremendously rewarding for the whole team.”

Verstappen is set to win his second world championship in the next two rounds in Singapore and Japan.