Red Bull chief Christian Horner outlines ‘competitive’ Ferrari fear as title heats up

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Red Bull’s Christian Horner has fears Ferrari will remain competitive for the entire season after the Prancing Horse has dominated the opening part of the season. Horner said Ferrari was simply ‘unlucky’ at Imola as Sainz crashed out and Leclerc lost places after a late spin.

However, he warned the Scuderia would be ‘super competitive’ in Miami and likely for the rest of the season in a major blow to Red Bull’s title chances. Speaking to Motorsport.com, he said: “Ferrari have got a great car, they’ve got great drivers. They’ve been unlucky.

“But for sure they’re going to be super competitive in two weeks’ time [in Miami]. And I think it’ll be like that for the whole season.” Ferrari and Red Bull share two wins apiece from the opening four races but mechanical failures have played their part.

A double retirement in Bahrain and another failure for Max Verstappen in Australia saw the Dutchman drop at least 36 points.

The issues appeared resolved at Imola as the team cashed in with a one-two finish as Ferrari faltered. It means the reigning champion is behind Leclerc by 27 points with Ferrari ahead by 11.

Horner didn’t react if asked whether there was more respect between Vertsappen and Leclerc than Hamilton last year. However, he did claim Verstappen and Leclerc ‘know each other’ which helped in their battles on track.

The Red Bull team principal claimed there was ‘genuine respect’ between the two drivers. Horner added: “I think they’ve grown up racing each other in karting and so on, and they know each other very well.

“They come from the same generation, and there is a genuine respect between the two of them.”

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However, Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto refused to rule out competition, warning other teams are only a little bit behind on pace.

He said: “When coming to the winter testing, we knew we had a competitive car but certainly I wasn’t expecting such a good start to the season, I think it would be unfair to think that. I still believe that the difference between us and the others can be very little. It will be a great fight in the next races certainly.”

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