Horner admits there ‘could be a shake-up in the order’

Michelle Foster
Christian Horner and Max Verstappen celebrate. Abu Dhabi December 2021.

Christian Horner and Max Verstappen celebrate on the podium as he wins his first World Championship. Abu Dhabi December 2021.

Christian Horner admits last year’s efforts in the title race could see either Red Bull or Mercedes, or both, lose their place at the top of the standings this season.

Red Bull and Mercedes dominated last year’s championship, the title protagonists winning 20 of the 22 grands prix, of which 16 of those were 1-2 results.

Such was their dominance that both teams finished more than 200 points ahead of third-placed Ferrari.

However, their race for the titles, with the Drivers’ crown going to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and the Constructors’ to Mercedes, meant they spent more time updating their 2021 cars than their rivals, many of whom switched their focus to 2022 early in the first half of the season.

As such, Horner concedes there could a surprise in the mix this season.

It is a season in which Formula 1 will be racing all-new cars based on a completely new concept to last year’s cars, using ground-effect aerodynamics.

Speaking to broadcaster WION, the Red Bull team boss said: “I think there could be a shake-up in the order.

Max Verstappen lifts the race winner's trophy aloft after the race. Abu Dhabi December 2021.

“I think you could see teams like Ferrari, McLaren, maybe even one or two surprises, because it’s a complete reset of the regulations and ourselves and Mercedes were very much involved in last year’s championship fight.

“So inevitably, that takes a little bit of distraction and emphasis away from the following year.

“We expect to have some very fierce competition out there this year and I think it will be an exciting championship ahead.”

Mercedes have already warned “one or two” teams could get it “badly wrong” this season, with James Allison adding that one could also find an innovation that has the others scrambling to catch up.

Horner says it will be “fascinating” to see what the various teams come up with.

“Formula 1 is a complicated sport, a complicated business,” he said.

“It’s all about how you interpret the regulations, brand new rules for this year, biggest chassis change in 30 years.

 

“It will be fascinating to see how the teams interpret those regulations, which of course we only get to see in Barcelona.”

 

PlanetF1 Verdict

 

Horner wary of 2022 shake-up

Christian Horner believes we could see Mercedes or Red Bull drop from the top spots this season.