Horner quizzed about suspicions over Mercedes engine

Mark Scott
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton attempts to overtake Sergio Perez. Turkey, October 2021.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, attempts to overtake Sergio Perez, Red Bull, at the Turkish Grand Prix. October 2021.

Christian Horner spoke about his concern about how fast Mercedes are in a straight line, as Red Bull lagged behind in Turkey.

The team secured a double podium finish in Turkey, but still lost more ground to Mercedes in the Constructors’ Championship at Istanbul Park after Valtteri Bottas’ victory on Sunday and Lewis Hamilton’s P5 finish.

Red Bull had recently raised questions about the legality of the plenum in the Mercedes, which is a part that moves air around the engine in a certain way.

However, the FIA discarded Red Bull’s complaint against their rivals, and the team principal admitted they need to find a way to close the gap in pace.

“Mercedes have been very quick this weekend,” Horner told Sky Sports F1 in the Istanbul Park paddock.

“If you look at the straight-line speed of particularly Lewis today, it is 15/20 kph up after the kink on the straight. It is phenomenal.

“And so we’ve got to find a little bit of straight-line speed ourselves. Maybe they were running a different downforce configuration but we’ve got some speed to find.

“We’ve got some tracks coming up that hopefully suit us but we know Austin is Hamilton territory so we’re going to have to be on our A-game.”

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Those comments resulted in Horner being asked whether he felt something fishy was going on with the Mercedes power unit, especially after being quoted prior to the race, saying: “Mercedes are extremely fast on the straights for the downforce theyā€™re using,” he said.

“Weā€™ve been observing that since Silverstone. Something is strange there.”

But Horner fell just short of pointing fingers at Mercedes again.

“Well, just for clarity, we didn’t protest it,” Horner stated.

“We ask some questions which all teams do. It wasn’t just Red Bull, by the way, it was other manufacturers raising questions as well and they continue to be raised.

“It is something for the FIA to look at and for them to police, but the straight-line speed…when you’ve got straight-line speed that is greater with a DRS open, that is pretty impressive.”

Asked if he was satisfied with the response he got from the FIA, Horner replied: “It is down to the FIA to continue to look at these things.

“We’re happy with the performance we had this weekend. I think the engineering team and the recovery we had, we were out of sync on Friday, the work that we did on Friday night with Sebastian Buemi in the simulator and the set-up we used on Saturday, it worked well today.”


Red Bull have suspicions over Mercedes engine

Even though complaints around Mercedes' engine power was thrown out, Red Bull still feel there's something fishy going on.