It hasn’t been the season so far that the Mercedes F1 Team would’ve been hoping for, with a best result of third ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix.
The eight-time defending constructors’ champions appeared to close the gap to both Ferrari and Red Bull Racing last weekend in Spain, however, this weekend at the Circuit de Monaco they are again well-off the leading pace.
Mercedes’ chances of retaining their constructors’ title look bleak, as do George Russell’s or Lewis Hamilton’s chances of winning the drivers’ championship.
The Silver Arrows are in a position they’ve not found themselves in since 2010-2013, when they returned to Formula 1.
Russell was able to battle with both Red Bull drivers at the Spanish Grand Prix, in what was more of a defence rather than an attack due to Max Verstappen’s and Sergio Pérez’ superior pace.
It was the first-time the two constructor’s have battled since 2021, in what was a season full of clashes and tension between Hamilton and Verstappen, as well as Christian Horner and Toto Wolff.
It would be easy for Horner to laugh about their great rival’s lack of performance this season, the Englishman though is “focusing” on his own team’s issues.
“There’s no time for sympathy,” the Briton said in interview with the Standard newspaper.
“It’s not a matter of sympathy or gloating, it’s about focusing on your own issues.”
With the two teams not battling on a Grand Prix basis as of yet this season, viewers are yet to see a confrontation between the two team principals, as was seen in 2021.
Last season Wolff called his Red Bull compatriot a “protagonist in a pantomime”, and Horner replied by saying the “pantomime dame role might suit” the Mercedes boss best.
Horner explained that whilst the pair throw insults at each other, “respect” between them still remains.
“We are just two very different people,” continued Horner.
“Our priorities are different. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a respect, but we are different personalities.”
Red Bull’s battle this year is with a rejuvenated Ferrari, with the pair having won every race so far this season.
Charles Leclerc has won two races this season, whereas Verstappen has won four.
The season is still only in the opening stages, however, Horner believes there is a “greater respect” between Red Bull and Ferrari than there was with Mercedes.
“We are still at the very early stages of the championship,” added Horner.
“I’m sure it will get more tense as the season progresses, but there’s a greater respect between the two teams than perhaps with Mercedes last season.”