“This has felt a lot more political”– Christian Horner denounces political battle with Mercedes amid tough championship fight.
Mercedes and Red Bull are in intense competition in this year’s championship, and subtle differences are causing huge implications; therefore, there is a lot of banter amidst the rivalry.
This Mercedes vs Red Bull rivalry is exactly what F1 needs. It is SO tense and SO interesting to watch the tactics of it all, on the track and in the pits.
— Sandra Postma | Book Coach (@YourStoryMentor) June 20, 2021
However, with the escalation of words, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has spoken against the political shift in their rivalry and claimed he never had such resentful opposition before.
“When we competed against McLaren for the championship and Lewis was driving for them, and when we were competing against Ferrari with Fernando Alonso and Stefano Domenicali, it was a very different atmosphere to this one,” Horner told the PA news agency.
“This has felt a lot more political with lots more going on behind the scenes. The inbox from Toto to the FIA, they are going to need a major clear-out at the end of the year.”
“Toto has never been in a position where he has been challenged,” added Horner. “He inherited a very competitive team from Ross Brawn and he has done a great job in maintaining that but this is the first time he has had this kind of pressure and people react to pressure in different ways.”
Lewis Hamilton under pressure
Horner alleges that Lewis Hamilton has tried to toy with Max Verstappen’s mind this season, and according to him, it implies that the seven-time world champion is under pressure.
“Lewis loves to try and play with people’s minds, and Max just doesn’t bite,” Horner added. “When you point a finger in a direction, there are three pointing back at you, and the one that is really feeling the pressure is Lewis.”
“He is fighting to be the most successful driver of all time, he is the defending champion. Max is 23, he has got many years ahead of him, and coming into this season he was the outsider.”
“He is just enjoying it, the racing, the challenge, and he have the benefit of youth. Time never stands still and Lewis has achieved so much, a phenomenal champion, but there is always going to be the next generation.”