Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner has downplayed Lewis Hamilton’s recent assertion that its ongoing dominance in Formula 1 will continue for many more years.
Having won 10 of the last 11 races of 2022, the Austrian outfit has been unrivalled this year, triumphing in all but one round to wrap up both titles with record rounds to spare.
Reigning World Champion Max Verstappen clinched his 17th victory of the campaign in Brazil last weekend, ensuring that his win percentage will remain the greatest in F1 history irrespective of the outcome of the final two races in Las Vegas and Abu Dhabi.
Meanwhile, Mercedes endured a disastrous weekend in Sao Paulo, prompting Hamilton to suggest that Red Bull will remain unbeaten for the remainder of this regulation cycle.
Asked whether Mercedes can make the progress needed to catch Red Bull, Hamilton said: “I think, ultimately, all I can do is try and remain optimistic. The Red Bull, I think, is so far away. I think they’re probably going to be very clear for the next couple of years.”
However, Horner asserts that the diminishing returns Red Bull will encounter at some stage with its current car concept will encourage the field to gradually converge.
Expanding on the wind tunnel numbers related to the side’s 2024 charger, Horner told Autosport: “It’s always difficult to read too much into those things. I think that it’s a lot of world championships that are won in the wind tunnel numbers at this time of year.
“I think that we’ve got a great car, we’ve got a great basis. We need to keep evolving it, but of course, the returns are going to diminish because you’re hitting the top of the curve. And you can see it will concertina. It will become closer and that will stretch us more.
“But the team are very, very motivated. You can see nobody’s let off since we won the championship. Everybody’s still fully on it.”
Despite winning 29 of the previous 31 races, Horner insists that Red Bull is continuing to search for further improvement, citing the team’s desire to amend its unexpected defeat at Interlagos last year as evidence that complacency won’t become a problem.
“You have got to keep improving in all areas,” he added. “I think leaving this race [in Brazil] last year hurt, in that our performance wasn’t as strong as we would have liked.
“We felt we didn’t get the set-up right. So we learned the lessons from last year and we applied them well and focused a car on the race.
“In the end, we came away with a pole, the Sprint win and the Grand Prix, with a third and the fourth for Checo [Perez], so it’s been a very strong weekend.”