Horner: Season so far beyond my wildest expectations

Horner: Season so far beyond my wildest expectations

Red Bull boss Christian Horner admitted the position in which his team is at this point of the 2022 Formula 1 season is beyond his wildest expectations.

Indeed, Red Bull currently lead both Championships at the halfway mark of the season, as the sport will also go into its summer shutdown after next weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

The energy drinks outfit fought till the last race of the 2021 F1 season, winning the Drivers’ crown with Max Verstappen, pushing the development of their car that year till the end in a tense battle for supremacy with Mercedes, which was a big risk given the major rule change the sport was undergoing in 2022.

All this was on Christian Horner’s mind when he said, quoted by F1’s Official Website: “Look, if you would have told me that going into last year that with the biggest regulation change in 40 years and with the effort we put into last year’s championship, that we’d be sitting here with eight Grand Prix victories, two Sprint victories and leading both championships with 63 and 82 points, that would have been beyond my wildest expectations.

“And I think that it is really a testament to the determination, dedication and the hard work that has gone on behind the scenes at the factory,” he added, speaking in the aftermath of the 2022 French Grand Prix.

“Now, we’ve seen Ferrari are very competitive also this year, we’ve seen other teams – Mercedes for sure are gathering momentum – but considering that we were probably the last team to transition [development] fully onto this car it’s been a phenomenal job,” Horner insisted.

Verstappen driving with maturity

Max Verstappen was chasing down Charles Leclerc in the first part of the race at Paul Ricard, but the latter’s race-ending crash meant the Dutchman had a clear route to victory.

Horner spoke of his star driver, saying: “I think he is driving with great maturity. You can see the way he and Charles are racing each other, there is a real respect between the two drivers.

“It’s a shame we didn’t get to see how today would have played out because the second half of the race would have been the opposite of the first, where we would have had track position and Ferrari would have had a slightly younger tyre advantage,” he added.

Horner however, is wary of the races coming, especially Hungary, he claimed: “I think the second half of the season, obviously it’s going to very competitive.

“We’ve got different circuits, different challenges coming up and there are some interesting venues coming up. We’ve got Hungary coming up next weekend, which will probably play more to the Ferrari’s strengths than our strengths. And then we’ve got some circuits coming up after the break that come back towards us a little bit.

“It’s going to be fascinating how it moves around over the next few races,” the Briton mused.