Horner Claims Mercedes ‘Finger Pointing Shows They See Us As A Threat’

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has said that Mercedes’ “finger pointing” is a “clear strategy” by the Silver Arrows, and he claimed that it shows they see his team as a threat.

Mercedes have dominated Formula 1’s V6 turbo-hybrid era, with them winning every Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship since 2014.

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However, Red Bull entered 2021 with the most competitive car on the grid, and although Mercedes have closed the performance gap, the Milton Keynes-based team still stand a good chance of winning a title this year.

With the rivals engaged in a fierce Championship battle from the get-go, Mercedes complained to the FIA about the “flexible” rear wing of Red Bull’s 2021 challenger.

Horner has said that this “finger pointing” indicates Mercedes see Red Bull as a threat.

“They [Mercedes] have put an awful lot of energy into that, more than you would expect – it’s been a clear strategy,” Horner said in an interview with Motorsport.com.

“But I think it just shows they see us as a threat. And I think you’re doing something right when people start pointing fingers,” he added.

Asked for his thoughts on how the 2021 regulation changes – which mandated cuts to the rear floor area and other downforce-generating components toward the rear of the cars – have impacted high-rake and low-rake cars differently, Horner said Red Bull initially thought cars with a high-rake aero design philosophy would be impacted more severely.

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“We’ve benefited obviously from a degree of continuity of the carry-over components,” Horner said.

“And I think the fact the correlation had come together, that we understood where our issues were and were able to address those, I think that was the key element, certainly for the first six months of this year.

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“We were actually concerned the rules would have a big effect on the high-rake cars.

“I think it was a combination of things – that we managed to understand some of our issues, managed to address an awful lot of them and just make a more rounded package.

“I think that, combined with Honda pulling their engine that was originally scheduled for 2022 into this year, being their final season in Formula 1, which was a Herculean effort on their side, it has enabled everything to come together,” he concluded. 

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