Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says he was flattered by the praise recently bestowed upon his team by Lewis Hamilton who called its dominant RB19 the fastest car he’s ever seen in F1.
Red Bull upheld its 100 per cent win record 2023 in Australia last weekend, with reigning world champion Max Verstappen clinching his second victory of the year out of three races.
The Milton Keynes-based outfit’s RB19 is in a league of its own, and Hamilton for one has been astonished by the Honda-powered machine’s level of performance, whether in qualifying or in race trim.
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And the Briton obviously recognizes an outstanding and fast piece of engineering when he sees one.
“It’s obviously very flattering, particularly considering some of the cars that Lewis has driven in recent history,” Horner said in Melbourne.
However, taking a leaf out of Mercedes boss Toto Wolff’s F1 book of complacency, Horner isn’t getting carried away with his team’s early season hegemony, knowing all too well how the winds of change can blow in the sport.
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Verstappen’s drive-shaft failure in qualifying in Jeddah was but one example of why Red Bull remains vulnerable to an unexpected disaster.
“We’re conscious it’s a very long season, there’s still 21 races to go and six Sprint races, and we’re conscious that big updates are coming for others in coming weeks as we head back to Europe,” he said.
Asked if he was surprised by the bulls’ performance lead over Ferrari and Mercedes, Horner said: “At times, in all honesty, yes.”
“We see that some teams have made a step forward and some haven’t. But that’s going to change from circuit to circuit, venue to venue,” he added.
“I’ve always said it’s going to take three or four races to get a real pattern as to what is the actual form book for the season.”
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