Christian Horner opens up on Lewis Hamilton title fight: ‘Never experienced before’

Red Bull won their first constructors’ title since 2013 last season, as the team enjoyed a strong start to the new regulations.

Toto Wolff has recently claimed that the only way that he can see Mercedes experiencing a title drought would be if they lost members of key staff or were forced to tackle a major change of regulations.

This happened to Red Bull at the end of the 2014 season, as four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel departed for Ferrari and left the team in a period of transition, while Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg led Mercedes to dominance in Formula 1 under a new set of regulations.

After slowly becoming closer and closer to the Silver Arrows every year, Max Verstappen narrowly beat Lewis Hamilton to the drivers’ championship in 2021 before Red Bull ran away with both titles in 2022.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has praised his team for their focused efforts to return to the pinnacle of Formula 1, after their period of dominance with Vettel ended.

READ: Formula 1 set to be left with big hole in 2023

“We went through that pain, you know, [in] 2013 we finished a very dominant streak and ’14 were the change of regs – we were nowhere,” explained the Red Bull boss.

“We never lost belief, people’s heads drop but you have to keep focused on a target and many of the people that we have today are still with us from 2013, there’s many new people that have joined the team as well and everybody’s just kept focused on that challenge on that goal of getting back into a winning position.”

Horner has spoken about the difficulties of the 2021 season, where Verstappen and Red Bull took Lewis Hamilton all the way to the final lap of the season, before controversially snatching the championship from the seven-time world champion.

“I thought last year took every ounce of energy out of every member of the team. That was something that I don’t think any of us have ever experienced before.

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READ: Christian Horner says Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc are miles off Max Verstappen

“And then this year, yeah, there’s been highs and lows and we’ve had issues to deal with, one of the biggest things we’ve had to deal with is the loss of our founder in Dietrich Mateschitz.”

Red Bull will be hindered by their cost cap breach penalty in 2023, as the FIA have reduced the team’s allocated wind tunnel testing time by ten percent, which Horner claims could cost the team up to half a second in lap time.

Should the energy drink giants wish to become the dominant force in Formula 1 once again, it will take a monumental effort to fend off Mercedes and Ferrari under the more competitive set of new regulations.