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Red Bull: F1 success made sweeter after years of pain behind Mercedes

Red Bull Formula 1 boss Christian Horner admits his team is enjoying its current level of success all the more because it has come after years of domination by Mercedes.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG, 2nd position, The Red Bull trophy delegate, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, George Russell, Mercedes-AMG, 3rd position, on the podium

Red Bull won four titles at the end of the V8 era in 2010-13 but lost out to Mercedes when the hybrid V6 power unit was introduced in 2014.

The team finally won its first title under the current regulation with Max Verstappen in 2021, before adding a second drivers’ title – and the constructors’ championship – last season.

Red Bull has dominated the 2023 season, winning all races held so far, leading Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff to acknowledge in Spain that the current advantage enjoyed by Verstappen “pisses him off.”

Horner stressed that Red Bull did not find its current streak of from by chance.

“We spent seven years trying to get back into a winning position, and losing hurts,” he said. “I think that we've worked very hard to get into this position.

“I think the whole team as a unit, and it's not just Max, it's the whole team is just operating at such a high level that we have a phenomenal car.

“We've got two great drivers and Max is just continuing to evolve as a driver. He is just becoming more and more polished, and the capacity that he has within the car is truly impressive.”

Asked if he drew satisfaction from Wolff’s comments, he said: “To be honest, I don't pay a great deal of attention to it. I think that what matters is the score sheet at the end of the day and that's looking pretty healthy.”

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing, Adrian Newey, Chief Technology Officer, Red Bull Racing, the Red Bull team celebrate victory

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing, Adrian Newey, Chief Technology Officer, Red Bull Racing, the Red Bull team celebrate victory

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Regarding the current run of wins, Horner made it clear what it meant to the team.

“We are hugely proud of it,” he said. “It just means that much more – we were there, then we were down, and then we fought back to being there again.

“Every member of the team has played such a crucial role in this performance, and F1 is one of the most competitive sports in the world and to be operating at the level that we are is something that you have to celebrate.”

Horner also downplayed suggestions that Verstappen and Red Bull have already won the 2023 F1 world championships.

“You will always get somebody say something like that,” he said. “Anything can happen. I think that both the championships are looking really healthy at the moment, our focus is now on Montreal, and that will be trying to get our 100th victory.

“After that it'll be the home race in Austria, after that will be the other home race in Silverstone. It just rolls on, and you go from event to event and don't allow yourself to be thinking too far down the line.”

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