Prior to 2021, the Milton Keynes-based team had roughly the second or third fastest car over the course of Formula 1’s V6 turbo-hybrid era, but this season they have been the pacesetters at a number of circuits.
Red Bull lost the lead of both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships after abysmal weekends at Silverstone and the Hungaroring, but Horner has praised the team’s ability to put together a “sustained” campaign this year.
“We’ve managed to win six of the races so far this year, which is a phenomenal record, more than we’ve won in the last couple of years, and I think that being in that Championship fight is exciting for everybody,” Horner said in an interview with Motorsport.com.
“It’s been seven long years that we’ve been very much a support role.
“We’ve managed to win races through being tactically shrewd and being good on our toes, but we were not able to put a sustained campaign together.
“Now we have the tools to do that, we have a chassis that performs extremely well, we have an engine that’s delivering, and we’ve got a driver [Max Verstappen] that’s at the top of his game and experienced.”
And despite Red Bull falling behind Mercedes last time out in Hungary due to a Valtteri Bottas-induced multi-car collision at the first corner, Horner believes everything is still to play for this campaign.
“We just got to do it better than the first half! We’ve just got to keep doing what we’re doing,” he said.
“There are going to be some challenges on track and off track. But we have just got to keep taking the approach that we have and trying to maximise our performance as a team in each session, each qualifying, and each race.
“But inevitably, once you get the business end of the championship, the stakes increase.
“You sort of go through and tick off the events one by one at the moment. But the closer to the end you get, the more the pressure increases.”
Verstappen currently trails Sir Lewis Hamilton by eight points in the Drivers’ Standings, while Red Bull are 12 points behind Mercedes in the fight for the Constructors’ Championship.