Following a Miami Grand Prix which saw a third victory of the season for F1 Drivers’ Champion Max Verstappen, the Dutchman looks to be the man to beat once again. The team seemingly up for the challenge (more so than in recent seasons) is Scuderia Ferrari. Red bull Racing team boss Christian Horner has revealed that seeing the Prancing Horse cantering back to the front of the field as a competitive team in F1, with two victories this season, is a welcome sight. Horner proudly told the media in Miami “It’s great to be racing Ferrari.”
During the sold-out inaugural Miami F1 Grand Prix, Red Bull Racing team boss, Christian Horner spoke to CNN and his widely publicized remarks saw Horner explain how a resurgent Ferrari in F1 is good for the sport - and brings him great joy too.
Scuderia Ferrari hit the ground running in 2022 after showing how well they had gotten to grips with the new regulations. While Red Bull Racing struggled with reliability, Ferrari managed to get out in front early on and with 5 Grands Prix of the season completed it seems to be a two-horse race between the charging bulls and the prancing horses. The dominance of this pair of teams early on has been such that Mercedes (the nearest constructor to them) is already over 50 points off the pace.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner’s recent comments saw him state:
“It’s great to be racing Ferrari, it’s good for Formula One to have Ferrari competitive. Charles Leclerc’s doing a great job, Carlos Sainz is a first-class driver as well. We know Mercedes will sort their problems out. It’s great for Formula One to have another team in the mix.”
Max Verstappen never left the headlines in 2021 following his on-track battles with Sir Lewis Hamilton. In 2022, the new F1 Drivers’ Champion finds his fiercest competition coming from Charles Leclerc. The duels between these two drivers have seen the pair alongside each other at the front as they infamously were in their karting days. This sight is one Horner is also relishing.
“It’s a great competition between this young generation that’s coming through,” Horner said. “Charles and Max have raced each other since they were kids. The racing between the two of them at each grand prix so far this year has been fantastic.”
Seeing Red Bull Racing as the car with the fastest straight line speed this season has come as a shock to a section of race fans.
Due to such an intense title battle last year with Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team, the common belief was that Red Bull Racing would have to redirect resources to be able to stay ahead and in doing so notbe able to fully focus on 2022. The fact the team is so competitive already seems to have come as a welcome surprise to Christian Horner as well.
“Having put so much effort into last year’s car, to come on to these new regulations, we elected to take that risk because we had an opportunity to win last year and you’ve got to go for it, that put huge pressure on the team coming into the second half of last year that we had to play catch up. Personally, I didn’t expect us to start the year as competitively as we have.
“To be on the front row of the first race, to win the second race, to win and get a one-two in Imola has been an unbelievable start for us, and I think testimony to all the team for doing such a phenomenal job in such a short space of time.”
It certainly is a phenomenal job and had the team not had reliability issues, Red Bull Racing could already have clear distance at the top. As it stands though, Charles Leclerc is the current leader of the F1 Drivers’ Championship with 104 points to second place driver Max Verstappen on 85 points. However, the early signs show that even though Ferrari may be out in front in both championships for now, it is only a matter of time before Red Bull emerge as the front runners in both. Consequently, Verstappen’s charging bull tastes blood and if he is to be prevented from feasting on a prancing horse, then Ferrari need to strike back in Barcelona.
Nevertheless, Christian Horner is not resting on his laurels and after his team’s latest victory, he reminded the media “There’s a long, long way to go, it’s so tight with Ferrari and there’s been some great racing.” Let’s hope for more of the same this weekend in Spain as such a scenario will no doubt also be great for Formula One.