‘If we beat Mercedes here, we can beat them anywhere’

Finley Crebolder
Max Verstappen Red Bull French Grand Prix

Max Verstappen Red Bull French Grand Prix

Christian Horner feels that if Red Bull can get the better of Mercedes at Paul Ricard, they can do so anywhere.

Since the French Grand Prix returned to the Formula 1 calendar in 2018, Mercedes have been the dominant force there, taking pole position and the win on both occasions.

Given that, they were the big favourites heading to the 2021 edition of the race, but thus far, Red Bull have been more than a match for them, with Max Verstappen taking pole position ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

Given that it has been a Mercedes ‘stronghold’, Horner feels it would be a very good sign indeed for his team if they can hold on and win.

“It certainly gives us more confidence,” the Red Bull team boss told Sky Sports.

“I mean let’s see how tomorrow goes but this circuit has been such a stronghold for Mercedes over the recent years so if we can beat them here, then really we can beat them anywhere.

“There’s a lot at stake obviously, but the whole team is just working incredibly well, working long hours. It’s difficult this year because you’ve got the current car, next year’s car, the cost cap, and everything else going on.

“But as a unit, to see the whole team coming together as it is and putting this pressure on Mercedes is phenomenal.”

Lewis Hamilton Max Verstappen, 2021 Spanish Grand Prix podium
Lewis Hamilton Max Verstappen, 2021 Spanish Grand Prix podium

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Another place that Mercedes are traditionally strong at is Barcelona, and Verstappen led early on there after taking the lead from Hamilton at the start.

However, Red Bull didn’t have enough pace to ultimately hold on and win as Mercedes successfully pulled off a two-stop strategy to give their man victory.

Horner isn’t worried about the same thing happening again though as, this time around, Sergio Perez can be in the mix after qualifying in P4.

“Mercedes were very quick in Barcelona and we’re expecting them to be very competitive again tomorrow,” Horner added.

“The great thing for us this weekend is that we’ve got Checo up there as well. you saw what a job he did in Baku two weeks ago, and having two cars in play gives you different strategic options.

I think we’re in good shape for tomorrow’s race. It’s important we get good starts, good pit-stops, good strategy, we’ve got to do all the basics well.

“And yeah, it’s phenomenal for the team to have both cars up there.”

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