Christian Horner does not believe Red Bull Racing are compromising the development of their 2022 Formula 1 car by continuing to update the RB16B this year in a bid to claim both championships.
Red Bull have won the past five races, four of which have been taken by current Drivers’ Championship leader Max Verstappen, while the Azerbaijan Grand Prix went the way of the Dutchman’s team-mate Sergio Pérez.
Victory for Verstappen in the Austrian Grand Prix saw him take a thirty-two-point lead over Lewis Hamilton in the Drivers’ standings, while Red Bull are forty-four points clear of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team in the Constructors’ Championship.
Horner, the Team Principal at Red Bull, says the development of the 2021 car is likely to continue until it is necessary to focus all development into the 2022 car, which will be the first car developed for the new regulations that come into force next year.
“You’ve got to go week by week, race by race and I think the team’s doing a great job of balancing the challenges of this year and next year,” Horner is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com.
“It’s nothing new. I mean there’s a lot being made of it at the moment, but we’ve had big regulation changes in the past so you just have got to balance your resource and apply it to what needs the most. I think the team are working incredibly hard, extremely well and effectively.”
Heading to the British Grand Prix, Horner knows that the weekend at Silverstone is likely to pose a very different challenge to Red Bull, with Mercedes having been the dominant team there in the turbo hybrid era.
The weekend will also see the first ever Sprint Qualifying Race on Saturday afternoon, and Horner says there will be a number of challenges next weekend that they have not seen so far this year.
“It’s a shame we don’t have more races in Austria, because now we head to a circuit that has been really very much a Mercedes stronghold for the last seven years,” he said.
“It’s also different challenges with the sprint race introduction, and a different format that weekend. Obviously, Mercedes have been enormously strong there over the years. And, Lewis [Hamilton] has his home support as well. So we expect it to be a big challenge.
“We know it’s such a stronghold for Mercedes. So it’s going to be fascinating to see if we can take this form into what is our next home race.
“I think we have found a good working window with the car over the last few races and I think that hopefully we can work within that window at Silverstone.”