Horner hilariously wins Mercedes factory tour

Mercedes beat Red Bull to the Constructors' Championship last year, while Max Verstappen defeated Sir Lewis Hamilton to the drivers' crown.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has entertained the world of Formula 1 by paying for a Mercedes factory tour.

During an auction for the Grand Prix Trust, the serial constructors’ champions posted the opportunity for the highest bidder to head to the factory in Brackley and take a look at the company’s impressive F1 operation.

Horner, going under the name “Chrisrian Horner,” placed an offer of £4,000 with all proceeds going to the charity.

The Briton has now joked that he aims to take “about 20” people with him to the factory to scope out Mercedes’ work on their 2022 car.

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“Adrian [Newey, Chief Technical Officer], myself, Pierre Waché [Technical Director] and probably Paul Field, our Director of Production,” he told RacingNews365.com of the offer.

The budget cap is being reduced from $145 million to $140 million for 2022, and Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has recently told The Race that this will diminish the disparity of $300 million between the top teams and the lower teams to around $10-20 million.

Since Mercedes’ magnitude as a company coupled with their success in the pinnacle of motorsport makes them one of the richest team on the grid, the Red Bull boss is looking forward to seeing how the Silver Arrows are negotiating the reduced scope to spend.

“It’ll be interesting to go and see how they’re spending their budget cap,” he added, before affirming that, while the bid may partly have been made in jest, it is going to a “great cause.”

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Back in 2008, Horner also went on a field trip to the McLaren team together with driver David Coulthard – who moved to Red Bull from the British team in 2005 – and designer Adrian Newey who made the same move a year after his compatriot.

The 48-year-old explains how the day panned out.

“DC invited us and [then McLaren team boss] Martin Whitmarsh was there,” he said.

“I went with Adrian; he obviously knew his way around and everywhere he wanted to go we weren’t allowed!

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“I think we saw the marketing and electronics departments, and had a very nice lunch, and that was about it!”

Toto Wolff and Christian Horner war of words.v1

Red Bull revealed their 2022 challenger – the RB18 – on 9 February, while Mercedes will launch their car on 18 February, five days before the pre-season “shakedown” in Barcelona.