'Hamilton exit weakens McLaren' - Horner
29 November 2012 – McLaren will be a weaker team without the services of Lewis Hamilton next season. That is the view of Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner, who believes the 2008 Champion will be a major boost to Mercedes' hopes when he completes his move.
"I think McLaren is a weaker team without Lewis," Horner explained. "I think McLaren would admit that. I think Lewis is an outstanding driver and in Lewis and Jenson (Button) they had a hugely strong driver line-up. So whichever team had taken Lewis, whether he stayed at McLaren or now he's moved to Mercedes, he will be an asset to that team.
"I'm sure he will naturally add performance to Mercedes next year. So we'll see next year, but McLaren have had a great car this year and who's to say they won't have an even better one next year?"
In terms of Red Bull's approach to 2013, Horner has eyed further improvements and admits that his team will have to make steps forward if it is to defend both world titles.
"We will apply the lessons that we've learnt this year," he said, refusing to become complacent. "We can always improve as a team; we've improved each of the last three years and the lessons we've learnt this year we will look to apply next year.
"We are up against some formidable opponents, they won't be sleeping over the winter and we will have to improve further the car, further the team, to maintain the kind of performances we've achieved not just this year but the last three years."