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F1: Red Bull boss throws shade at Mercedes, hails Leclerc-Verstappen rivalry

There is a very distinct difference in the way Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner has been speaking about his team’s closest competitors. This year, he is singing praises for Scuderia Ferrari and championship leader Charles Leclerc, but he had been icy and oftentimes abrasive against Mercedes.

Formula 1 fans bore witness to the conflicts between Horner and Mercedes boss Toto Wolff throughout the past few years. It was Mercedes that broke Red Bull’s dominance in the Sebastian Vettel era, and the Silver Arrows held the top spot for seven straight years afterwards via six titles for Lewis Hamilton and a lone championship for Nico Rosberg.

In 2021, Mercedes did secure an eight straight Constructors’ Championship title, but Red Bull’s Max Verstappen snatched the Drivers’ title away from Hamilton. It was an intense battle that lasted all the way up to the final lap of the last race in Abu Dhabi. As the battle heated up, the relationship between the two teams also deteriorated in plain sight.

This season, things have changed dramatically, with Ferrari finding a renaissance of sorts. Red Bull is keeping up with the pace, but Mercedes is clearly far behind.

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen won the first two events of the season respectively, and both races saw intense on-track battles between the two drivers. However, despite swapping the lead numerous times and racing wheel-to-wheel, the battles have been clean and respectful from both sides.