Horner Issues ‘Unicorn’ Directive to Red Bull Amid Rising F1 Rival Pressure

In the face of increased pressure from the competition, Christian Horner maintains that Red Bull needs to “ignore 2023” in order to protect its Formula 1 crowns.

Red Bull won 21 of the 22 races in the previous season, and the RB19 broke numerous records in the Drivers’ and Constructors’ championships. Max Verstappen took home 19 of them victories.

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Up to the Spanish Grand Prix in 2024, he had seven victories from ten races. However, McLaren, Ferrari, and now Mercedes have closed the gap on the RB20 leader, with Red Bull occasionally having trouble with car setup and reliability issues in recent races.

Horner believes that the 2023 season was a “unicorn” and that Red Bull should firmly leave behind as “normal” F1 returns as the team prepares for the battle.

“We had an amazing [year], it was a unicorn, but this is normal. You [should] ignore 2023,” Horner told reporters, including RacingNews365.

There will be competition, but one advantage of steady laws is that everything always converges: there are excellent teams and drivers.

Christian Horner makes Max Verstappen situation clear as Red Bull face new  reality - Mirror Online

“I recall that Ron Dennis told me in an F1 Commission meeting that ‘if you want close racing, just leave it alone’ when I first started in the sport.

As we are currently witnessing, everything always converges, and we are going to blow it all up by 2026.

“We’re having to fight really hard for wins at the moment, and have to be on top of our game as a team – and that is Formula 1 how it should be.”

Spanish contentment

Verstappen beat Lando Norris of McLaren in a tactical duel that took place in Spain on a weekend when the MCL38 was presumably just the faster vehicle.

Red Bull has a history in 2024 of winning races either handily or by a tiny margin, and Horner seemed more “satisfied” with Barcelona’s victory than he would have been if Verstappen had prevailed by a wider margin.

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“I would prefer winning races by 40 seconds, it is less stressful, but I take more satisfaction out of a race win [like the Spanish GP], because everybody has had to deliver,” Horner stated.

“Max was outstanding, the team has delivered, the engineers and strategists have delivered, the simulations, everything that has gone into the races, has delivered.”