Horner says it’s “remarkable” that Mercedes got it wrong in 2022

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says Mercedes “made quite a noise about compromising last year’s championship and moving over very early on to onto their 2022 car”.

After eight dominant years, a lot of people were expecting Mercedes to be in the fight for the championship in 2022. However, that did not happen.

Although Mercedes said they stopped developing their 2021 car early on in the 2021 season, to focus on their 2022 challenger, unfortunately they weren’t able to produce a car that could challenge for the championship.

During his appearance of F1’s Beyond the Grid podcast, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said he was surprised not to see Mercedes fighting for race wins.

“Yes, because they transitioned early [to the 2022 rules],” Horner said.

“They made quite a noise about compromising last year’s championship and moving over very early on to onto their 2022 car.

“Then, of course, when their car broke cover, particularly with this [minimal sidepod] upgrade, it looks so radically different.

“You just have the expectation, from seeing how dominant Mercedes have been, that they would be in a very similar position.

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“Obviously [they were] hurt last year getting beat, but we felt that they would come back with a renewed vengeance for this year.

“So, it is quite remarkable that after the domination that they’ve had for the last eight years, that they’re yet to win a Grand Prix in 2022.”

Mercedes also surprised everyone at the Bahrain pre-season test, when the team introduced a ‘minimal sidepod’ car concept.

Horner was immediately quoted by Auto Motor und Sport as saying that the concept was not legal. However, Red Bull and Horner immediately denied that he ever said it. This led to AMuS journalist doubling down and saying he indeed did say that.

Horner now explains it was evident very soon that the concept was indeed legal.

“The first question was: ‘Is it legal?’, because it’s a very different interpretation, and of course, it was,” the Briton said.

“Then the guys were pretty convinced early on that they just didn’t feel that it would work within the architecture that we created. There was an inner confidence that we’d picked the right route.

“When the lap times started to come in from that Bahrain test, and you could visibly see the cars on track, it didn’t look like that they had a rocket ship, or that we’d missed something fundamental,” Horner concluded.

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