Red Bull: Only gargantuan f*** up would cost Mercedes 2019 F1 title

Red Bull Formula 1 boss Christian Horner thinks only a "gargantuan" blunder by Mercedes would allow Max Verstappen to challenge for the world championship this year

Red Bull: Only gargantuan f*** up would cost Mercedes 2019 F1 title

Verstappen has scored more points than any other driver at the four most recent grands prix, and Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said at the Hungarian Grand Prix that form had made the 21-year-old a title threat.

However, Horner said the comfortable 69-point advantage that Lewis Hamilton holds over third-placed Verstappen with just nine races remaining means his team's title dreams are not realistic.

"Lewis has close to a three-race [win's worth of points] advantage with nine races to go, so he would have to not turn up for three races," said Horner, when asked by Autosport about his team's championship prospects.

"It is hugely unlikely. They [Mercedes] would have to fuck up by gargantuan proportions not to win this championship.

"I think our target in the second half of the year is very much to close that gap.

"And as we get more performance on the car as Honda continues to make progress, this is very much a building year as we transition into 2020."

Horner said Red Bull's progress with its car has been rapid since an update introduced at the Austrian Grand Prix helped improve the car's balance, giving its drivers more confidence after a tricky start to the campaign.

"I think that the regulation change over the winter definitely did hurt us with the way we worked the front wing," said Horner.

"But I think as the team have gained more understanding and have been able to use these new regulations better, we have been able to recover balance and characteristics of the car.

"Of course, that was combined with a tyre construction change as well, and those two elements hit us quite hard on the chassis side over the winter.

"But I think definitely we have made really good progress there in the last few months and hopefully with the development we see in the second half of the year, we have got a good vein of development that should continue to develop that."

shares
comments
Unhappy Ferrari driver Vettel rates his Formula 1 season 5/10 so far

Previous article

Unhappy Ferrari driver Vettel rates his Formula 1 season 5/10 so far

Next article

Wolff: Hungary an "awful" race for Bottas, won't influence '20 call

Wolff: Hungary an "awful" race for Bottas, won't influence '20 call
Load comments
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Plus

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding 
into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? STUART CODLING talks to the man in charge

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Plus

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers Plus

Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory Plus

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form Plus

How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form

A Formula 1 pitstop is a rapid-fire blend of high technology and human performance. PAT SYMONDS describes how the science of margin gains makes stops so quick

Formula 1
Oct 10, 2021
Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems Plus

Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton dominated the opening day of action for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, on the Istanbul circuit’s much improved track surface. But the Black Arrows squad’s position isn’t quite what it seems. Here’s why

Formula 1
Oct 8, 2021