Horner expects struggling Mercedes to join fight with Red Bull and Ferrari

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Horner expects struggling Mercedes to join fight with Red Bull and Ferrari

Formula 1

Horner expects struggling Mercedes to join fight with Red Bull and Ferrari

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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is certain Mercedes will be fighting for wins alongside his team and Ferrari at some stage this season.

Mercedes has struggled so far this year, suffering from porpoising when it tries to run its car at a low enough ride-height to generate the performance it was expecting. While Horner is adamant he isn’t focusing on what Mercedes does, given how close the fight with Ferrari is, he believes Lewis Hamilton and George Russell are likely to become threats at some stage.

“I have no feeling about their competitiveness, I’m focused on our competitiveness,” Horner insisted. “It’s a very intense fight with Ferrari at the moment, I have no doubt at some point Mercedes will join that battle, but my focus is very much on our team.

“We’ve only got 21 races to go! The first two races have been great racing between the two teams and I think that it’s now going to be about development, unlocking potential in these cars that are still very immature.

“We can see Ferrari are very quick, and it’s going to be a very busy period through the rest of the spring to get performance to the cars and understand how the tires are working and so on.”

One aspect of the battle with Ferrari has been two different car philosophies from the two teams, with Ferrari particularly quick in the corners and Red Bull showing impressive straight-line speed, but Horner believes another picture could emerge in Australia this weekend as his team continues to recover from a double-DNF in the opening round in Bahrain.

“It’s been interesting to see these two races. Certainly (in Saudi Arabia) we came to a decision of running lower downforce and that worked. So Melbourne will be a different challenge, [and] it’s a different circuit now, that’ll be fascinating.

“It’s so early in the season, luck tends to even itself out. I think we’ve got to go race by race. We’re off the mark now, we’re off the scoreboard, won our first race of the year, both drivers have been very competitive again, and we’ve got to build some momentum.”

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