Formula 1
Formula 1
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
Race in
47 days
09 May
Next event in
64 days
23 May
Race in
82 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
06 Jun
Race in
96 days
13 Jun
Race in
103 days
27 Jun
Race in
117 days
04 Jul
Next event in
120 days
18 Jul
Race in
138 days
R
Hungarian GP
01 Aug
Race in
152 days
29 Aug
Race in
180 days
05 Sep
Race in
187 days
12 Sep
Race in
194 days
26 Sep
Race in
208 days
R
Singapore GP
03 Oct
Next event in
211 days
10 Oct
Race in
222 days
R
United States GP
24 Oct
Race in
236 days
31 Oct
Race in
243 days
R
Australian GP
21 Nov
Race in
264 days
R
Saudi Arabia GP
05 Dec
Race in
278 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
12 Dec
Race in
285 days

Red Bull: Last year's "lessons" key to 2021 success

Red Bull Formula 1 team boss Christian Horner hopes lessons learned in 2020 addressing the problematic RB16 car will help his team make a sustained challenge to Mercedes in 2021. 

Red Bull: Last year's "lessons" key to 2021 success

Horner’s squad won twice last season – it’s lowest total since 2016, despite Ferrari dropping out of the battle at the front – as it had to address an inherent aerodynamic imbalance on the RB16, while the performance level of the Mercedes W11 gave the Brackley-based outfit an initial gap the rest of the pack that harked back to the early years of the turbo hybrid era. 

Red Bull did close the gap to Mercedes over the course of 2020, winning the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix with an aggressive tyre strategy and the Abu Dhabi finale from pole.  

The two teams also took different approaches to car development over the season, with the carryover design requirements between 2020-2021 in mind, as Red Bull opted for a route of continuous upgrades, while Mercedes stopped updating after last August’s Spa race. 

While Horner reckons Mercedes remains the clear favourite going into the 2021 season, he believes the decision to continuing adding performance throughout the second half of 2020 will pay off the Red Bull.  

“We've seen one team be totally dominant for the last seven years,” he told Motorsport.com in an exclusive interview.

“And with continuity going into this year of largely car and drivers [being the same], on the Mercedes side, you would expect them to be in a very strong position again.  

“But I hope by using the lessons that we've learned from 2020, we can put a more sustained challenge to Mercedes, who will undoubtedly be incredibly strong and very much the favourites this year - particularly off the back of a car, which was arguably their best car of the hybrid era.  

“That's going to be quite a challenge for us. But one that we're relishing.” 

Read Also:

Horner also reckons Mercedes will draw motivation from its defeat in Abu Dhabi, where Max Verstappen followed up his Silverstone win with victory ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton. 

“Mercedes are a very rounded team, and they've been solid for a long time now - and all credit to them for the records that they've broken with seven successive championships,” said Horner. 

“But I think we have been the most consistent challenger over the past seven years. We've managed to win races in six of those seven years. 

“And it's important for us to keep trying to be better in every area.  

“Mercedes is quite a machine, but we've demonstrated that you can beat them - by working hard, by applying yourself to the task in hand.  

“I think that they will be tremendously motivated because of that last race in Abu Dhabi and I expect that Toto has used that, and James Allison [too], to come up with an even more competitive car for this year.  

“So, we don't in any way underestimate the might of Mercedes. But we've always been a been a challenger.  

“Our objective is, as I say, to take the lessons that we learned in 2020 into 2021. And hopefully RB16B will be a good evolution.  

“Mercedes are the clear favourites with seven consecutive titles but we are excited about the challenge this season and won't give up in our hunt for a fifth title.”  

shares
comments

Related video

Red Bull had to fix wind tunnel correlation issue with 2020 car

Previous article

Red Bull had to fix wind tunnel correlation issue with 2020 car

Next article

What Alfa Romeo's token spend says about its 2021 mindset

What Alfa Romeo's token spend says about its 2021 mindset
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Alex Kalinauckas
The mantra Ocon must follow to challenge Alonso at Alpine Prime

The mantra Ocon must follow to challenge Alonso at Alpine

OPINION: It's been an uneasy ride for Esteban Ocon since his F1 comeback - and fresh challenges lie in wait as he's joined by double world champion Fernando Alonso in the newly rebranded Alpine team. STUART CODLING sets out a roadmap to success…

Why Haas is willing to sacrifice its 2021 F1 season Prime

Why Haas is willing to sacrifice its 2021 F1 season

Every Formula 1 team is facing the same difficult decision this season: how do you split precious aero development time between the current car and the all-new 2022 project?

The big questions of F1 2021 - Karun Chandhok Prime

The big questions of F1 2021 - Karun Chandhok

After an unprecedented season last year, there are plenty of questions and storylines for the upcoming Formula 1 campaign. Sky Sports F1 pundit Karun Chandhok gives his verdict.

How McLaren F1’s new investors have already made an impact Prime

How McLaren F1’s new investors have already made an impact

The deal McLaren concluded with MSP Sports Capital last year which will help the cash-strapped Formula 1 team pay for much-needed infrastructure upgrades, also points toward the future for F1 itself, says GP Racing's Stuart Codling.

Formula 1
Feb 27, 2021
Why Verstappen isn't interested in the hype game Prime

Why Verstappen isn't interested in the hype game

In a pre-season where Red Bull has been unusually quiet, Max Verstappen has also been guarded about the team's fortunes in 2021. Even after trying the RB16B for the first time at Silverstone, the Dutchman was careful to manage expectations

Formula 1
Feb 26, 2021
The pros and cons of F1's 2021 rule changes Prime

The pros and cons of F1's 2021 rule changes

In the strategy for grand prix racing's future, 2021 represents a significant step towards the goal of closer racing and a more level playing field. That's the theory behind the latest raft of changes, but will they have the desired effect?

Formula 1
Feb 24, 2021
What Red Bull is trying to hide with its RB16B launch Prime

What Red Bull is trying to hide with its RB16B launch

Red Bull made no secret of the fact its 2021 F1 car is an evolution of its predecessor, but in keeping the same foundations while hiding some tightly-guarded updates with its RB16B, the team aims to avoid suffering the same pitfalls of previous years

Formula 1
Feb 23, 2021
How Albon plans to fight his way out of Red Bull limbo Prime

How Albon plans to fight his way out of Red Bull limbo

Alex Albon has faced the media for the first time since he lost his Red Bull drive at the end of 2020 and dropped out of a Formula 1 race seat altogether. He has a history of bouncing back from setbacks, so here's what he must do to rise again

Formula 1
Feb 23, 2021