Hamilton takes stunning win after crash with Max Verstappen
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Christian Horner believes recent “finger-pointing” from rivals can only mean Red Bull are doing something right this season, adding that Mercedes must see them as a “threat” as tensions ramp up between the two teams.
Mercedes and Red Bull have been locked in a war of words this season, ever since Lewis Hamilton suggested foul play after his Spanish Grand Prix victory, as Mercedes questioned the legality of their rival’s rear wing, with team boss Toto Wolff describing Horner as “a bit of a windbag.”
Red Bull were quick to defend their car, adding that it was fully in line with FIA regulations, yet it escalated in such a way that the governing body had to step in, informing teams they would be cracking down on the issue with the implementation of tests to deal with any use of illegal flexible wings.
Not only were the teams battling off track, but on track Hamilton and Max Verstappen have had an explosive start to the season, with tensions boiling over at the British Grand Prix as the pair tangled heading into Copse Corner, with Verstappen crashing out of the race.
But Horner believes any words exchanged between the two words means they’re successfully getting under their main rivals’ skin.
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“They put an incredible amount of effort into that, more than you think,” he tells Motorsport.com.
“It’s a clear strategy. This just shows that they see us as a threat. And I think you’re doing something right when people start pointing the finger at you.”
Hamilton now leads the way by eight points over Verstappen in the driver standings, despite the Dutchman having a 33-point lead heading into the British Grand Prix.
But with a DNF, and damage picked up during the Hungarian Grand Prix, the 23-year-old has only picked up two points in the same amount of races.
“We have won six races this year, a phenomenal number,” Horner added. “More than the last few years and I think the title fight is very exciting for everyone,”
“It was seven long years in which we played a supporting role. We won some races through tactical ability but we were never able to tie a whole season together, now we have the resources to do that.
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“We have a chassis that performs extremely well, we have an engine that delivers and we have a rider who is at the top of his game and has experience.”
Formula One is currently taking a summer break, with racing continuing at the end of August for the Belgian Grand Prix.
And despite trailing in both the drivers and the team standings, Horner knows exactly what they must do to get back on track.
“We just have to do better than in the first half! We just have to keep doing what we’re already doing,” concluded Horner.
“We will face challenges on and off the track.
“We just have to continue the way that we as a team want to perform to the maximum in every session, every qualifying, and every race.
“Inevitably, the stakes will increase as you approach the end of the season. At this point, you need to tick off the events one by one.
“The closer you get to the end, the more the pressure builds…”
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