Christian Horner ready for four-way title fight

2 Comments

Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner believes that his team are in the middle of a four-way fight for both titles this season.

The British team currently leads the constructors’ championship ahead of Lotus and Ferrari, and Sebastian Vettel tops the drivers’ standings by 10 points. Despite this good start to the season, Horner is sure that Red Bull will face a stiff challenge as they look to retain both titles.

“Ferrari is strong, Lotus has a good car, and the Mercedes certainly over a single lap is very strong,” Horner told Autosport.

“But having won two of the four races plus a second place, it has been a strong start to the campaign for us.”

The beginning of the season has been very close indeed, with three drivers winning in the opening four races, and Horner only expects it to get even closer as Formula One returns to Europe in two weeks’ time.

“It’s close, it’s tight and I’m sure it’s going to move around from circuit to circuit as we head back to Europe.”

Horner did however write off the challenge of McLaren, who has endured its worst start to a Formula One season in over a decade.

“The rest are a step behind,” he said.

In recent years, Red Bull has improved over the course of the season, and its start to the 2013 championship could put them in good stead to seal a fourth consecutive drivers and constructors double.

Daniel Ricciardo to decide soon about moving from Red Bull to another F1 team

Getty Images
Leave a comment

LE CASTELLET, France (AP) Daniel Ricciardo says over the next six weeks he wants to decide between staying at Red Bull or joining another Formula One team for next year.

Ricciardo said on Thursday at the French Grand Prix, “It would be nice to go on the summer break knowing what I am doing.”

F1 is working its way toward its three-week break in August with speculation mounting that Mercedes, Ferrari, and McLaren are interested in luring Ricciardo away from Red Bull for 2019.

“I will be honest, everyone is talking about Mercedes and Ferrari as potential places for me to go, and I am aware that there will be interest from other teams,” he said.

The Australian driver has won seven races in his four-plus seasons with Red Bull. He is fourth in the standings behind leader Sebastian Vettel heading into the race at the Paul Ricard Circuit near Marseille.

Ricciardo’s stock has risen in recent months after his victories in Shanghai and Monaco. His Monaco win was particularly impressive because Ricciardo had to deploy some masterful defensive driving to protect his lead after losing an estimated 25 percent of his engine power.

Ricciardo said he had not directly spoken to rivals Ferrari and Mercedes, but he hedged when asked if his manager had.

“People talk, have coffees, I will leave that one open-ended,” he said with a laugh.

Ricciardo called the decision on whether to go or stay with Red Bull the biggest choice of his career following his decision to leave his native Australia and continue his racing career in Europe over a decade ago.

“For sure the priority is to get a car to win the world title because I really believe I can,” he said. “I am slightly careful because it is easy to think the grass is greener and maybe it is, but I also have it pretty good where I am.

“People do like a change but just to make change for the sake of making a change is not enough for me. I need to find some substance behind it to jump ship.”

Red Bull announced recently it would be ending its 12-year partnership with engine-maker Renault and switching to Honda motors for next year.

Ricciardo was hesitant to endorse or criticize the change, saying he was going to “try to keep putting the pieces together if it is a good move.”

But with the question of the engine manufacturer out of the way, Ricciardo said Red Bull would likely be looking to resolve its drivers’ lineup for next year.

“I haven’t been pushed yet, but I would say that there will be some movement in the next week,” he said. “Whether that is something that gets put down on paper (or not), for sure the discussions will start to ramp up in the next few days.”