‘His team would know’: Christian Horner fires George Russell jibe

After riding to victory in the first three races of the 2023 season, Red Bull has been accused of downplaying its true pace.

Red Bull have started from pole and secured victory in every round of the 2023 season so far, with a clear performance advantage over the rest of the grid.

Even after a poor start at the Australian Grand Prix, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen easily managed to regain the lead by lap 12, as he glided past Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes with little effort.

Rivals fear that Red Bull is even stronger than what it’s shown so far though, with George Russell claiming they are tactically keeping their true performance under wraps. 

“For sure [Red Bull is] holding back,” Russell told the BBC Chequered Flag podcast. 

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“I think they are almost embarrassed to show their full potential because the faster they seem, the more that the sport is going to try to hold them back somehow.

“I think realistically they probably have seven-tenths advantage over the rest of the field. I don’t know what the pace difference looks like at the moment but Max has got no reason to be pushing it, nor has Red Bull. 

Christian Horner, Red Bull’s team principal, has hit back at these accusations, claiming that Mercedes would “know too well” about engaging in such tactics.

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“That’s very generous of him! His team would know too well about those kinds of advantages,” Horner said, dismissing Russell’s theory.

“There’s always an element of managing that goes on in any race. Because it was a one-stop race, and a very early one-stop race, of course there was an element of tyre management going on,” he added.

Red Bull is in a strong position after three races, holding a 58 point lead over nearest rivals Aston Martin, while Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez are in P1 and P2 in the Drivers’ Standings.