Horner hopeful of catching Mercedes in 2021

Date published: October 3 2020

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Despite the stable regulations, Christian Horner is optimistic that Red Bull can close the gap to Mercedes in 2021.

With the major regulation changes in the sport put on hold to 2022 as a result of the global pandemic, it is generally expected that the grid’s pecking order will largely remain the same for next season.

That would mean that Mercedes would remain comfortably the quickest team, while Red Bull would be P2 but some way off.

Horner though still has some hope that this won’t be the case, and that his team can develop the RB16 enough to close the gap.

“There is a carryover of parts but that doesn’t mean to say if we can unlock more potential in the car and develop the car effectively then, of course, I think we can close that gap,” the team principal said as per gpfans.com.

“This car is the basis of next year’s car. There is probably 60% of the car that is carried over so obviously, we are working very hard to understand and unlock further performance from the car between now and the end of the year.

“There are now three months left of hard development and the whole team is very focused on that.”

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On raw pace, Racing Point has been the closest team to Red Bull this season and has often had a quicker car.

With Sebastian Vettel joining the team which will be re-branded as Aston Martin for 2021 and current regulations allowing them to use parts from this year’s Mercedes token-free, many expect the outfit to be even stronger.

While Horner agrees that Vettel, in particular, could have a positive impact, he says that Red Bull’s focus remains ahead of them rather than behind.

“I think they have a car that is very competitive,” he added.

“The basis for their car for next year – the rules should have further clarifications in terms of what is and isn’t permitted, but [it is] a team with high aspirations and good budget behind them now and a potentially rejuvenated Sebastian in that car could be a factor.

“We have got to focus on ourselves. The gap we measure ourselves to is Mercedes and that is what we have to work hard to reduce and ultimately get ahead of.”

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