Horner opens up on Red Bull's 'barren spell' amid Mercedes dominance
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Christian Horner has warned teams could copy Red Bull’s design after a dominant 2023 campaign. The team boss suggested there would be at least “a few more cars” that would look similar to their model after the team showed their success under the new regulations.
Horner told Channel 4: “It’s tough because it is a handicap. But I think what you’ll see in ’23 is that the cars do converge, and I’m sure there’s a few more cars that will look a bit like a Red Bull or a Ferrari.”
However, his fears come just months after Mercedes dropped massive hints they could steal their rivals’ designs in a bid to return to the front of the grid. Earlier this season, George Russell claimed “nothing’s off the table” when asked if the team would look at Red Bull and Ferrari’s concepts for 2023.
Technical director Mike Elliott said the team had a “level of humility” to admit they had got their 2022 design wrong. He stressed the Silver Arrows were not just looking at Red Bull’s format and had studied other blueprints across the grid.
However, trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin hinted Red Bull’s ideas were the best on the grid. He explained: “I think the rules do change for next year, that’s going to change how people are looking at developing their car.
“You’d always say that the fastest car is the one that’s got the best concept, so, you know, today that’s going to be Red Bull. Where that goes into next year it’s difficult to say. Certainly we, as a team, have not fixed what our car is going to look like. We’re still exploring different concepts.”
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has since hinted the team’s new 2023 car will be different compared to its predecessor.
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However, he confirmed the new model looked similar to the W13, suggesting the team has stuck to its lack of sidepods. The comments come after a dismal year for the German marque who secured just one win throughout the campaign.
Wolff explained: “It’s full of surprises. The last time I saw it I thought ‘oh this looks the same [as the W13]’ but here’s hoping it’s not the same. I’m pretty much like you, I go into the wind tunnel and it looks like this year’s car but they say to me it’s very different underneath.
“It’s about the airflow, it’s about the weight distribution, it’s about the aero map. Our car fundamentally changed mid-year. We changed the concept but we couldn’t see anything on the bodywork.”
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