Christian Horner identifies the main priority for Red Bull in the F1 battle with Ferrari

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has figured out what his engineers should focus on as the Milton Keynes-based team chases Ferrari in the World Championship

Christian Horner believes Red Bull must try to reduce the car's weight as they try to chase Ferrari
Christian Horner believes Red Bull must try to reduce the car’s weight as they try to chase Ferrari

Red Bull boss Christian Horner has suggested further reducing the weight of the RB18 to rival Ferrari in 2022. Charles Leclerc piloted his F1-75 to two wins early in the season to take a commanding lead in the Drivers’ Championship.

While Max Verstappen suffered from reliability issues in Bahrain – along with teammate Sergio Perez – and Melbourne, the reigning world champion hit back with back-to-back wins at Imola and the inaugural Miami Grand Prix. Verstappen is now 19 points behind his rival in the standings, with Red Bull just six behind Ferrari.

While the Brit has raised concerns about the development race due to the “brutal” cost of manufacturing components, Horner wants his team to keep picking up steam. The 48-year-old is certain weight saving is a priority for Red Bull’s engineers.

“You saw at Imola how fast things can move and I think we have some interesting races ahead of us,” said Horner. “The car is running well.

“We have some developments that will hopefully come later in the summer that will also help. We need to save a little weight.

“You can improve anywhere. We must improve the slow [corner] Stuff, we need to shed a few pounds off the car; The tire grade is then the result of the weight, so it’s all these little incremental gains that you’re always chasing.”

Concerns about reliability were widespread in 2022, with Verstappen suffering two technical issues and twice failing in the first five races, while Perez also joined him in Bahrain with a DNF. The Dutchman has won every race he has finished this season and Horner has reassured fans the engine issues will soon be resolved.

Max Verstappen and Red Bull team boss Christian Horner celebrate victory at the Miami Grand Prix last weekend


(Getty Images)

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“I don’t think the car is particularly fragile – I just think there were ugly things that you would normally see in pre-season testing that have only just now reared their heads,” added Horner. “It’s frustrating, but we work closely with HRC [Honda Racing Corporation] and they’re giving us great support and we’re going to figure these things out.”

Ahead of next weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, Horner believes Ferrari will have the advantage. The Red Bull boss cited Barcelona’s many medium- and high-speed corners as a reason why the Italian motorsport giants should be considered favourites.

Horner concluded: “It’s been a back and forth and Barcelona is a whole new challenge, high speed corners and we know Ferrari are strong in that area. They are horses for courses and this circuit [Miami] suited us, we were able to make it work and get the result.”

The 22-race F1 2022 campaign – which is expected to return to a record 23 races in the near future once a replacement for the Russian Grand Prix is ​​found – will continue with the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona on May 22.

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