Christian Horner warns Max Verstappen

Christian Horner has acknowledged the 2023 season still could deliver plenty of twists and turns despite Max Verstappen taking an impressive early lead in the title race.

Red Bull Racing remains cautious about prematurely claiming victory in both the Constructors’ and Drivers’ Championships despite its commanding lead in the 2023 Formula 1 season.

With seven flawless victories under their belt, Red Bull has opened up a strong 135-point advantage in the Constructors’ Championship, while Max Verstappen maintains a comfortable 71-point lead over his closest non-Red Bull competitor, Fernando Alonso, in the Drivers’ standings.

Christian Horner, the team principal of Red Bull, has downplayed assumptions that their lead guarantees success, emphasising the team’s approach of taking each race as it comes. 

“You will always get somebody say something like that,” Horner stated.

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“Anything can happen. I think that both the championships are looking really healthy at the moment, our focus is now on Montreal, and that will be trying to get our 100th victory. 

“After that, it’ll be the home race in Austria, and then the other home race in Silverstone. It just rolls on, and you go from event to event and don’t allow yourself to be thinking too far down the line.”

Red Bull’s current dominance marks a significant turnaround from the challenging years after their previous success between 2010 and 2013. 

With the introduction of V6 turbo-hybrid engines in 2014, Mercedes emerged as the dominant force in Formula 1, securing eight consecutive Constructors’ Championships. 

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However, a change in technical rules in 2021, followed by further regulation overhauls last year, allowed Verstappen to snatch the Drivers’ crown from Lewis Hamilton and helped Red Bull clinch both championships.

Horner emphasises the immense effort behind Red Bull’s resurgence, noting the seven-year journey to reclaim a winning position. 

He credits the entire team’s exceptional performance, highlighting Verstappen’s continuous growth as a driver and the team’s unity. 

“The whole team as a unit, and it’s not just Max, it’s the whole team, is just operating at such a high level that we have a phenomenal car,” he stated.

“We’ve got two great drivers, and Max is just continuing to evolve as a driver. He is just becoming more and more polished, and the capacity that he has within the car is truly impressive.”

The Red Bull camp appreciates their current success even more due to the challenging periods they experienced between their two dominant eras. 

Horner expressed great pride in the team’s achievement, recognising the collective effort of every team member. 

He emphasised that operating at such a high level in Formula 1, one of the most competitive sports in the world, is a cause for celebration.

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“We are hugely proud of it,” Horner said. 

“It just means that much more – we were there, then we were down, and then we fought back to being there again.

“Every member of the team has played such a crucial role in this performance, and F1 is one of the most competitive sports in the world and to be operating at the level that we are is something that you have to celebrate.”