‘Massive’ Mercedes and Ferrari upgrades on the way, claim Red Bull

Sam Cooper
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, follows a Ferrari. Azerbaijan, April 2023.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, following a Ferrari car in Baku. Azerbaijan, April 2023.

Christian Horner said he keeps hearing that “massive” upgrades are on their way for both Mercedes and Ferrari in the coming races.

The Red Bull team boss is in the luxury position of being so far ahead of his competitors that his team does not need any sweeping changes to remain on top.

That does not mean they can put their feet up though for such is the rate of development in Formula 1, even in a budget cap era, that time spent still is time going backwards.

It seems the next race in Imola could be a real turning point with teams expected to bring major upgrades ahead of the European run of grands prix.

Mercedes is one who everyone will be keeping an eye on when the W14 emerges from the pit in Italy as the team have all but confirmed a drastically different car will be deployed there.

Toto Wolff said in March that the team had already been working on an “alternate” concept having pretty quickly realised the current iteration of the W14 is not the way to go but later ruled out a B-spec model, citing the cost cap as the barrier.

Horner is expecting big things from the team that was once his main rival and is also predicting “significant” upgrades for Ferrari.

“It’s still a long season and they’ve got a lot of development time available to them,” Horner told the F1 Nation podcast when asked if the gap between Red Bull and the other teams is already insurmountable. “I mean, let’s see. I keep hearing massive upgrades for Mercedes are coming and significant ones for Ferrari.

“So if they do have a B-spec car, then things can change quite quickly.”

Mercedes and Wolff have kept pretty quiet as to what exactly Silver Arrows fans can expect come lights out at Imola but he did suggest the “layout” of the car would be different.

As for Red Bull, their goal now is to develop at a quick enough pace to not see their advantage slip away but it is a task made harder by not only their position of P1 in last year’s championship but also their penalty for a minor breach of the cost cap.

Horner was confident his team was using the time they have “efficiently”.

“We have the restrictions in the development tools imposed on us this year. But I think the team are doing a very effective, very efficient job. They’re using the time that we have effectively.”