Horner hits back at Mercedes ‘upgrade is downgrade’ dig


A fiery Christian Horner took a merciless jab at Mercedes following Red Bull’s win in last Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix.

In Montreal, Max Verstappen claimed his 60th career triumph in F1, thanks to a masterful display in the tricky conditions and to the flawless execution of his team.

However, the bulls and the Dutchman were anything but in a league of their own at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, with both McLaren and Mercedes leading the wet and wild proceedings at one point.

Once again, Red Bull’s RB20 wasn’t quite the fire-breathing monster it had been earlier in the season, and which encouraged Mercedes technical director James Allison to throw some shade at the Milton Keynes-based outfit ahead of F1’s round of racing in Montreal.

“It does look as if their upgrade was a downgrade," a daring Allison said. "So, fingers crossed that would really mess them up.”

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Needless to say, Horner wasn’t about to take Allison’s derisive words lying down. And sure enough, the Red Bull team principal fired back at his team’s rival after Verstappen’s win.

With the energy of a proud dad whose kid aced a test everyone thought they’d bomb, Horner quipped: “Even with our downgrade, we managed to beat their upgrade! It was a rewarding race to win.” Ouch!


On a more serious note, in the wake of Red Bull’s sixth win of the season, Horner expects Ferrari, McLaren and even Mercedes to be snapping at the bulls’ hooves this summer and beyond.

“The last couple of races have been more choppy waters for us, but we have still managed to win two out of the last three races," the Briton added.

“We had a pole in Imola, we managed to match the pole time here with a car that both drivers are feeling its deficiencies. So there is a lot of focus on that to see if we can improve that.

“We know there are circuits later in the year like Singapore where it [ride issues] could be a factor. But we really expect Ferrari, McLaren - and Mercedes who came into that window this weekend - to be competitive at every circuit.

“So I think despite having won six of the nine races - we are going to have to be top of our game to keep eking out a gap.”

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