Red Bull boss Christian Horner has revealed that underestimating Mercedes’ power of recovery would be foolish in spite of a disappointing preseason start. Max Verstappen has made it clear that in spite of Mercedes looking out of starts in the preseason, they are not looking at themselves as the favourites for the opening race of the season. All the preseason talk has been whether Red Bull could translate their good form in preseason to match the dominance shown by Mercedes last season.
“Mercedes’ test was probably a bit scrappy by their standards, but they are such a quality team it would be very foolish to underestimate them and their ability to bounce back,” Horner said. “We saw that a couple of years ago where they looked to be underperforming in Barcelona [testing] and won very comfortably the first race in Australia.”
Max Verstappen won the last Grand Prix of 2020 comfortably but Red Bull despite their dominance from 2010-2013 has won the first race of the season just once, back in 2011. They are confident after their performance in preseason testing that they will be able to mount a sustained title challenge this season.
“I know people are excited and think we are just saying this, but Mercedes are still the favourites – how can they not be when they have won seven world championships in a row,” Verstappen said. “I’m sure Mercedes also want people to think we are the favourites and put the pressure on us but we are just focused on ourselves.”