Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Silverstone, 2020

Red Bull’s one-second deficit to Mercedes is “frustrating”, admits Horner

Lap time watch: 2020 British Grand Prix

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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner admitted he is frustrated to see his team qualify more than a second slower than Mercedes for the second race in a row.

Max Verstappen started both races in Austria from the front row of the grid. But at the Hungaroring and Silverstone Red Bull lagged over a second behind the world champions.

“I would be lying if I said today hasn’t been frustrating, especially with the kind of margins we are looking at to Mercedes,” said Horner after qualifying.

“We know this track always suits their car but they are incredibly quick at the moment but we have to keep the pressure on them as much as we can.”

The only consolation for Horner is that none of Mercedes’ rivals were any closer

Mercedes made the second-biggest year-on-year improvement in lap time this weekend, lapping Silverstone almost eight tenths of a second quicker than they did a year ago. Racing Point were the only team to make a greater step forward.

Significantly, all three Mercedes-powered cars were considerably quicker around a circuit which rewards a strong power unit – a sign the three-pointed star has made clear progress in this area in 2020.

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2020 British Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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24 comments on “Red Bull’s one-second deficit to Mercedes is “frustrating”, admits Horner”

  1. What is really frustrating is to look at the time sheets and compare to last year. To see Red Bull again being slower than 12 months ago.

    1. Adrian Newey, Honda… you must be looking at it wrong!

  2. What is more frustrating is that RBR and Ferrari are slower than last year. Gasly in the junior team is quicker than Albon and Vettel seems to be lacking motivation.

    1. Well, Vettel had two sessions that were wasted with mechanical problems, that surely did not help, and given he was seen working on the car himself then, doesn’t seem to be an issue of motivation at his side @amg44

  3. While the comment is technically true, the real comment being made should be “Red Bull’s deficit to last years Red Bull is frustrating

  4. Horner is frustrated? Imagine being Toto, frustrated by the thought of who to hype up for next race .

  5. I think it’s becoming clear which engines were harmed by the TD. Seems like Honda and Ferrari were both using the loopholes to gain more power

    1. I highly doubt honda were doing anything dodgy. It was redbull who went to the fia about the ferrari engine. You need to remember it wasmt till December the fia announced their secret deal with ferrari and up until then Mercedes believed the ferrari engine was legal. This is just Mercedes pushing their emgine to catch up with ferrari not realising they already had the best engine. Also if you look at last year when Mercedes updated their engine after the summer they had reliability issues so never actually pushed their engine until the last race of the season when Hamilton absolutely dominated

    2. The Honda this year is more powerful and had better drivavility. No loopholes there

      1. So Red Bull designed a car that is slower then last years?

        1. Yes they did

  6. It’ll be closer in the race but still probably too big a gap for any meaningful action at the front.

  7. “but we have to keep the pressure on them as much as we can.”

    Toto: Really Christian? Was it ever ‘on’ then? errr… I mean, RedBull are looking really quick and we will have an extremely hard time trying to keep them off us tomorrow.

  8. I think it may be time for FIA to investigate Mercedes. To be fair when Ferrari was faster than all everyone was up in arms. I suspect that something is not above board.

  9. BLS (@brightlampshade)
    1st August 2020, 20:35

    We all know why Ferrari and their customers are slow this year. But it should also be noted that Honda are struggling on where they were last year. The only ones to move forward this year are Mercedes and Renault, which is equally interesting.

  10. And still nobody says what they did about Sebastian winning because he has better equipment. And Sebastian’s teammate didn’t win a world championship like Hamilton’s either. Obviously better equipment. Is it STILL because they’re the only one split turbo and exhaust?

  11. 3 biggest improvers … Mercedes PU’s
    2 small improvers … Renault PU’s
    2 small losers … Honda PU’s
    3 biggest losers … Ferrari PU’s

    If you use the above figures and calculate the improvement relative to the rest of the field, then the only 3 cars to improve are the Mercedes PU cars.

    Another sign that the current rules are far too PU weighted.

    Need to question whether the 2019 Ferrari PU was in the grey area enough for the FIA not to have penalised them for it, then was it the best thing for the sport to rather outlaw it by secret agreement & shuffle 3 teams that far backwards … creating an even bigger gap at the front?

    1. Noticed that as well. I think that’s where the frustration is coming from. No matter what you design yourself, the outcome is determined by the choice of your engine supplier.

  12. Horner may maybe getting a little frustrated now but how is he going to feel if RB do make a proper step forward and the Mercs just just step up a gear.

  13. Well the RBR 2020 car has got slower. So, why not introspect?

    1. Red Bull don’t do personal responsibility. Just not their ethos.

  14. RBR seem to have made a habit of not delivering a really fast chassis out of the box for the last few years.

    A lot of that may well be because they’ve known they had to make up a huge differential in power from the PU and have had to go extreme in chassis design, but it still doesn’t excuse them for stuffing it up consistently.

    2017 was supposed to be “their” year of advantage when the rules allowed for even more aero effect – they delivered rubbish. This year it seems that again they’ve really not done well.

    Perhaps the Newey magic is beginning to fade a bit and newer, younger engineers are starting to excel. They surely must be feeling nervous for 2022.

  15. Now imagine we have the same margin of Mercedes over the rest of the field at the first race of 2022. 15+ years of one team dominating.

    1. That’ll kill off the sport for a lot of people.

      In last weeks SRO GT endurance race at Imola the top 26 cars from 9 different manufacturers were covered by less than a second in qualifying. Today’s GT Masters race it was 31 cars within a second of the pole time.
      In both cases, 3 different manufacturers finished on the podium.
      Some manufacturers running V10’s, some V8’s, some 6’s, some turbo charged, some naturally aspirated … Front-engined, mid-engined, & rear-engined cars. Cars look different from each other and sound different, yet perform the same.
      The SRO race had an entry list of 46 Cars, today’s GT Masters 33 cars.

      All thanks to the brilliant thing called Balance of Performance.
      No one spends stupid money trying to run away at the front because they know they’ll just be pegged back anyway. No one is copying another car from photos, protesting brake ducts, watching a pay driver run away in a superior car, spending millions on a wing end plate to find 0.001 sec, etc.

      And yet short sighted clowns criticize BoP while trying to call themselves “purists” because apparently they’re happy to watch rubbish racing and kill the sport under the illusion what they’re seeing is ‘fair’ competition.

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