Horner: We haven't seen much of Toto, but he's 'plotting'

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Mercedes has been no match for Red Bull in the past two seasons, but Christian Horner knows that Toto Wolff is "plotting" to get the Brackley squad back to the front of F1's grid.

A failed aero concept for its first-generation ground effect car and struggles to correct its path have left the mighty Mercedes team with just a single win to its name in 38 races, courtesy of George Russell in Brazil in 2022.

This season, the magnitude of Red Bull's supremacy has put the Milton Keynes-based outfit and its star driver Max Verstappen in a league of their own, a country mile ahead of their rivals.

However, Mercedes' history of success is a reminder of its ability to fight back. But does Horner actually miss his rivalry with his Mercedes counterpart Toto Wolff?

"For me sport is about rivalry. It’s great to have rivalry. There has to be a respect, sport isn’t sport without rivalry," he told Sky Sports.

"We haven’t seen much of him [Toto] the last two years but I am sure he’s plotting. I am sure there’s something they’re working on. They’re a great team, they’re a big team."

Horner's cautionary stance is likely well founded given Mercedes' determination and resources. The Briton suggests that it would be unwise to count the German outfit out as they are likely to come back stronger and more competitive than ever.

"They’ve got great drivers," added the red Bull chief. "They will be looking to fight back.

"It hurts when you’re losing and if it doesn’t hurt you shouldn’t be doing it. We had long periods, six to seven seasons of hurt, of being the bridesmaid. We never lost sight of where we wanted to be.

"We were the team to break that domination. Everything goes in cycles. At some point, someone will beat us.

"Whether it’s Mercedes or Ferrari or McLaren or Aston Martin or whoever. We don’t know but all we can control is what we’re doing so that’s what we’re focused on is ourselves."

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