Red Bull Faces Monaco Challenge

Horner: F1 Convergence Inevitable


Christian Horner asserts that performance convergence among F1 teams was inevitable, questioning if Red Bull can maintain dominance in Monaco.

Max Verstappen clinched pole position and won the Grand Prix last Sunday in Imola, but the Dutchman’s and Red Bull’s dominance in Formula 1 appears to be waning as Ferrari and McLaren F1 close the gap race by race.

Can the Austrian team fend off their rivals’ challenges this weekend in Monaco by dominating the event? This doesn’t seem to be the trend, and Christian Horner acknowledges that the reigning world champions are no longer in a league of their own.

“Imola was a tough weekend, a very tough weekend, where we secured pole position and the victory. But the finish was much closer, and the race unfolded in two phases for us. The first half of the race was very strong, but in the second half, or the last 20 laps really, we lost performance. I think we learned a lot from Imola. Monaco is a completely different challenge. You can see, I think, that Ferrari will be quick, McLaren will be quick. You know, Mercedes also looked quick in the first session. So, qualifying is going to be very tight.”

Horner: Performance Convergence Among Teams Was Inevitable

“The convergence of performance among the teams was inevitable. We’re in the third year of these regulations, and convergence is unavoidable. It’s incredible that we’ve managed to stay ahead for so long. But as the cars converge in appearance and form, and thus lap times, it’s inevitable that competition will be fierce. We expect this to be the case here in Monaco. It’s a unique circuit on the calendar, and of course, everything will hinge on the qualifying lap.”

“There’s always pressure to improve, but no one puts more pressure on us than our own team. I think we are seeing convergence, and performance fluctuates from circuit to circuit. On Friday in Imola, the car was tricky to drive, and I think the team did a great job in addressing that issue, and Max was outstanding in securing pole and the win. Friday was a bit skewed because some teams used three sets of tires, including the soft compound, but we’ll see how things stand in qualifying.”

Perez Already Threatened for 2025? Horner Remains Cautious

On the driver side, Sergio Perez had a solid start to the season but has seemed to fall back over the last two Grands Prix. Could this be the start of another negative spiral for the Mexican, reminiscent of 2023? Horner isn’t worried, and a contract extension isn’t off the table yet.

Horner Downplays Concerns Over Perez’s Future

“No, I don’t think so. I think he’s driven very well since the start of the year. Obviously, Imola was a tricky qualifying for him, starting from FP3. But if you look at the races he’s had on different circuits this year, he’s performed well. So, in due course, we will determine what we are going to do.”

Behind him, young drivers from the Red Bull stable are patiently waiting for their chance, notably Liam Lawson, who impressed last year and hopes to be on the grid in 2025 with RB F1. Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo are also hoping for a chance to replace Perez, but it won’t be possible to please everyone. Regardless, Horner prefers to wait before making any decisions.

“They are all Red Bull Racing drivers, and we are only at the eighth race, so we still have a lot of time. It’s good to see the young drivers performing well, and it’s good to have this competition too. So, Liam is undoubtedly eager to get into a racing situation. The Formula 2 drivers are performing well at the moment, as are those in Formula 3. We have a strong pool of talent.”

Red Bull Faces Monaco Challenge

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