Christian Horner sends warning to Red Bull’s rivals as he comments on Max Verstappen’s battle with Sergio Perez

Red Bull are just one-point short of having the maximum possible total after the opening two races of the 2023 F1 season.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has warned their rivals that the Austrians “can extract more performance” from the RB19, despite having claimed consecutive 1-2 finishes with ease in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

The Milton Keynes-based team have started their title defence emphatically, with both reigning World Champion Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez having claimed a win each, suggesting that the title fight this season will be between the two Red Bull drivers.

With Red Bull having started 2023 with consecutive pole positions and 1-2 finishes, many have already written this season off; however, Horner has stressed that it’s still “so early” in the longest season in the sport’s history.

“It’s so early in the season, it’s a 23-race calendar,” Horner told Sky News.

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“We’ve done two races in Bahrain and Jeddah so far and the venues vary a great deal, Australia in just over a week’s time. So I’m sure it’s gonna ebb and flow but we’re hopeful we can extract more performance from the car.”

There is no doubt that Red Bull are the favourites for both titles, with Horner openly admitting that they do have “two dominant cars”.

However, the Briton is confident that 2023 can still be exciting for the neutral fan, with the Red Bull boss believing that a Verstappen versus Perez title fight “does create a spectacle in itself”.

“I think some of the racing has been fantastic, I think we saw a great race again at the weekend between our two drivers,” said Horner.

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“If you do have two dominant cars, if those cars are racing each other, it does create a spectacle in itself.”

Whether the Austrians can maintain their dominance remains to be seen, with some wondering whether their budget cap penalty will affect them come the latter stages of 2023.

Interestingly, Horner actually praised the introduction of the budget cap whilst discussing the positive impact Liberty Media have had on the sport, with this season being the Americans seventh season in control of the championship.

“I think the biggest thing is they’ve brought down the barriers and embraced digital media,” the Red Bull boss said.

READ: Christian Horner in difficult position as Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez ‘friction’ re-emerges

“They’ve embraced initiatives like Netflix for example which has been a game changer in the sport.

“Bringing in things like the cost cap to contain cost and adopting a model that is making the teams effectively franchises. That’s driven value up and brought an incredible following and a completely different demographic.

“A lot more girls becoming interested in Formula 1, a lot more diverse audience and as a result we’re going to more and exciting venues.”