Horner warns Mercedes could lap field
11 March 2014 – Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has suggested that Mercedes could finish two laps ahead of the opposition at this weekend's Australian Grand Prix, given the pre-season pace displayed by the Silver Arrows.
While the title holders struggled to complete mileage throughout testing amid Renault's power unit troubles and chronic car cooling problems, Mercedes topped the charts and featured at the sharp end of the timesheets.
And having assessed the overall situation, Horner reckons Mercedes could be a class above the rest on the streets of Melbourne, tipping Lewis Hamilton to reclaim the crown he first won for McLaren back in 2008.
"You could see a higher level of domination than we had last year," Horner, who oversaw Sebastian Vettel's run of nine straight victories during the second half of the 2013 season, is quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.
"Looking at Mercedes's race simulation, it wouldn't be a surprise if they finished two laps ahead of everyone in Melbourne. They have a massive advantage. What we know about Lewis is that he is extremely talented and naturally fast. And he's in a good team, so he's probably got to be the favourite going into the season."
Meanwhile, Horner is hoping that Red Bull will find itself in a much stronger position by the time the Formula 1 fraternity arrives in Europe for the Spanish Grand Prix, reiterating his faith in the Milton Keynes workforce.
"We believe [the RB10] is an inherently a good car," Horner explained. "I have every confidence in the team. There's no panic. There are engineering solutions and there is no better set of engineers in the pit lane.
"By the time we get to the European races in May, we should be OK."