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Horner on Mercedes: 'That's surprising after eight years of dominance'

Horner on Mercedes: 'That's surprising after eight years of dominance'

26 September - 18:25 Last update: 19:27
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GPblog.com

Red Bull Racing team boss Christian Horner says he is surprised by Mercedes AMG F1's disappointing performance. That the team has yet to win a race this year is a surprise given the strong eight years before and the experimental start to this season.

Mercedes title run comes to an end

Indeed, Mercedes won the constructors' championship eight years in a row, but fell well short of Ferrari and Red Bull at the start of the 2022 F1 season. Although Mercedes fought its way to the front and climbed back slightly in the championship, a ninth consecutive title for the team now seems impossible. Mercedes frightened the competition at this year's winter tests with the highly experimental look of the W13. It soon became clear that the team had gone down the wrong path with the strange (virtually missing) sidepods.

For Horner, Mercedes' seemingly strong start to the current season added to his surprise that Mercedes has not won a race as yet. At the F1 podcast Beyond the Grid he says: "They changed their focus [last year] very early on. They said a lot about sacrificing last year's championship so they could work on the car for 2022." Large-scale rule changes were planned for this year and good preparation was very important. That Mercedes started these preparations so early but still miscalculated is surprising, according to Horner.

Horner had expected victory from Mercedes

Horner: "When the car was introduced, especially with that update [the sidepods], it looked so radically different that we expected Mercedes to be as dominant again as in previous years. Obviously it hurt that we beat them in the drivers' championship last year and we hoped they wanted revenge this year. So it is quite surprising that after the dominance of the last eight years, they haven't won a Grand Prix in 2022."

Finally, Horner also opens up about his team's reaction to Mercedes' radical car design. Horner says he knew pretty quickly that Mercedes' creation was made according to the rules and was not illegal. The team boss also saw that it was a big difference in interpretation with the other teams. Horner: "But pretty soon the guys here became convinced that it would not work with our design. We were sure we were on the right path." During testing in Bahrain, it became clear to everyone that Mercedes had failed to build a winning car for the first time in nine years.

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