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Christian Horner in Austria

Horner: “We expect Mercedes to be quick in France”

The Red Bull Team Principal opened up on the main themes of the weekend

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Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner expects Mercedes to be an important factor during the French Grand Prix and, even more, going further into the Championship, as the German team seems to have at least partially solved its problems. 

Christian Horner and Toto Wolff in Abu Dhabi
Image Credit: Red Bull Content Pool

The new 2022 regulations were good for some teams to move up the grid and less than ideal for others, with one of the biggest surprises of the season seeing Mercedes seriously struggle with their overall project. Yet, Brackley has been able to at least salvage the situation from the disastrous performance of the first few races and is now often in the challenge for podiums.

Now, Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner sees Mercedes’ progress, as reported by “We’ll expect them to be quick in [Paul] Ricard. They’re showing flashes of being there or thereabouts. The last two races have been pretty decent for them and there’s been no sign I think of any porpoising at all, so they seem to be slowly bringing themselves back into the game.”

To Red Bull’s potential disadvantage, Horner only sees Mercedes’ influence in the fight for the Constructors’ Championship grow in the near future: “I think they’ll be a contender. They keep consistently scoring points. I’m not sure how far off they are in the constructors’ or drivers’ [championships] at the moment, but you know, sometimes having more cars in play is a good thing. Sometimes it might be a bad thing. But I think for the fans it is great to have six cars, competing for victories.”

Binotto: “Mercedes is back”

Agreeing with Horner, Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto had also previously admitted Mercedes’ progress. In particular, after the British GP, the Italian team principal went on to say to Sky Sports Italy to discuss Brackley’s recent performance: “Mercedes is back.  They are upgrading a lot, basically bringing new cars at every race. How will they handle the budget cap I don’t know but good for them. […]Overall, they did get better and we will see it also on other tracks. ”

Mercedes is currently 122 points away from Red Bull in the Constructors’ Championship and “only” 66 points away from Ferrari. However, the reliability problems suffered by both the Austrian and Italian teams might open up chances for Mercedes to close the gap and at least try to bring the competition to the front.

Headline Image: Red Bull Content Pool

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