Red Bull boss expects 'ironically' close 2020 Formula 1 battle

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner believes Formula 1 will have its closest battle of the hybrid era in 2020, but feels this is "ironic" given the looming 2021 changes

Red Bull boss expects 'ironically' close 2020 Formula 1 battle

Mercedes has not been beaten to a world championship since F1 adopted its current engine package in 2014, and maintained its advantage through the major change of aerodynamic rules for '17.

Ferrari has only managed to mount sporadic title challenges in that period, while Red Bull - which had a streak of four championships at the end of the previous era - has had to settle for occasional race wins.

But with Red Bull showing progress with new engine supplier Honda and Ferrari having been the benchmark on raw pace for much of late 2019, Horner has high hopes for the level of competition next season - yet fears that closeness could be shortlived and spoilt by the 2021 rules revamp.

"They have had such a period of dominance, and congratulations to Lewis Hamilton on a phenomenal achievement with his sixth world championship," he said of Mercedes.

"They are the benchmark and it feels like the grid is concertinaing a bit.

"Usually a regulation change spreads it apart.

"It might be ironic that 2020 might be the closest year we have, with a three-way battle, before everything changes for 2021."

Red Bull won the Austrian and German Grands Prix in early summer before slipping back a little from Mercedes and Ferrari.

But Horner thinks overall his team ends 2019 with strong momentum that it must ensure it keeps through the winter.

"This year was always going to be a transitional year with a new engine partner," he said.

"I have to say all compliments to Honda with all the progress they have made this year with performance.

"We have made good progress throughout the year, we have had a couple of wins, we have achieved a couple of poles although only started on pole once, and we have been contender to win a few races this year.

"In Monaco we were very competitive, Hungary as well, we were in a position potentially to win that race, and [in the United States] again we have been that competitive.

"So we are on the right trajectory. It is important that we carry the momentum into the winter and then into the beginning of next year."


shares
comments
FIA's plan for F1 2021 regulations to encourage different designs
Previous article

FIA's plan for F1 2021 regulations to encourage different designs

Next article

Formula 1's Miami Grand Prix plan thrown lifeline by mayor

Formula 1's Miami Grand Prix plan thrown lifeline by mayor
Load comments
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Plus

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Plus

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Plus

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021 Plus

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as STUART CODLING finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton Plus

The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls a remarkable champion

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022
How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam Plus

How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam

George Russell joining Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes this year gives it arguably the best line-up in Formula 1 – if it can avoid too many fireworks. After serving his apprenticeship at Williams, Russell is the man that Mercedes team believes can lead it in the post-Hamilton era, but how will he fare against the seven-time champion? Autosport heard from the man himself

Formula 1
Jan 6, 2022
How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications Plus

How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications

OPINION: The Formula 1 season just gone was the second to be completed under the dreaded shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in many ways it was much more ‘normal’ than 2020. Here’s the story of how the championship’s various organisers delivered a second challenging campaign, which offers a glimpse at what may be different next time around

Formula 1
Jan 5, 2022