Christian Horner delivers brutal reminder to Mercedes after double Spanish GP podium

Jamie Woodhouse
Lewis Hamilton driving the Mercedes W14. Spain, June 2023.

Lewis Hamilton in action at the wheel of the Mercedes W14. Spain, June 2023.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner served to put the brakes on the Mercedes hype train after their far improved Spanish GP showing. They were 24 seconds behind after all!

Mercedes unveiled their heavily upgraded W14 challenger last time out in Monaco, though all eye were on the Spanish Grand Prix as that revamped package was unleashed around a more traditional racing circuit in the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Ferrari also had major upgrades for Spain, following Mercedes in ditching their unique sidepod design for one more similar to Red Bull’s, but it was Mercedes who seemingly have taken the step forward.

While Red Bull remained out of reach, Verstappen winning by 24.090 seconds over Hamilton, it was nonetheless a double podium for Mercedes as Hamilton and Russell comfortably had the beating of Aston Martin and Ferrari, their main rivals so far this season.

And so during his Sky F1 punditry duties, 2016 World Champion and former Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg asked Red Bull boss Horner if this “giant leap” for Mercedes concerned him, considering that this is the very early days of their new concept.

Horner though shut down the 23-time race winner on that one, pointing to the gap that Red Bull still enjoyed over Mercedes regardless of their improvement. He even knocked off a second for Mercedes from the actual final gap between Verstappen and Hamilton.

It turns out that Red Bull also have upgrades to come, so by the second-half of the season, maybe then Horner can see Mercedes applying some pressure. recommends

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“Well it was still 23 seconds behind at the end of the race!” Horner stated before pausing.

“They made a good step, but we’ve got some stuff in the pipeline, they’ve had a big upgrade, we’ve got some bits coming later into the season.

“But for sure, a big step, they’re a quality team and for sure they’re going to be putting us under pressure in the second-half of the year.”

Mercedes have now also taken over as statistically Red Bull’s closest challenger, turning a one-point deficit to Aston Martin in the Constructors’ Championship into an 18-point lead.

Red Bull though are way out in front seven rounds and seven wins into the campaign, their lead over Mercedes standing at a daunting 135 points.