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.
Michael Carter was selected as the winner of the 2018 Mazda Road to 24 Shootout.
Carter was one of four drivers who competed for the honor and a $100,000 scholarship that went along with it. Matthew Dirks, Hannah Grisham and Loni Unser also competed.
With the scholarship, Carter will compete in the 2019 Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup.
“What a journey this has been,” said Carter in a press release. “The reason I started racing a Mazda was because of the Mazda Road to 24 Shootout. It was our one single goal all along and to finally accomplish that is surreal. The process begins next week of getting ready for next season, for the series test at Barber, and to put together a good season in the Global MX-5 Cup.”
Carter was invited to the Shootout largely because of his 2018 performance in SCCA. He finished second in the SCCA Hoosier Super Tour Points Championship, won the Spec Miata Challenge and won in Spec Miata at the American Road Race of Champions.
The 18-year-old Carter had his eye on the Road to Mazda early.
“Each year, it is exciting to see the next batch of talent that is in the pipeline,” said John Doonan, Director, Mazda Motorsports. “I heard something from Michael and his father that really hit a chord with me which was that they built a Spec Miata with the sole purpose of going up the Mazda Road to 24 ladder.
That really speaks to the challenger spirit at Mazda, to why we have the Shootout, and to the family that we have at Mazda. Michael is the driver today who walks away with the scholarship, but we had four families come together here who have all gone racing together. For all of us at Mazda, it’s very rewarding to give these families a chance to go racing together. We look forward to watching Michael take the next step in his career in next season’s Global MX-5 Cup.”