Red Bull boss Christian Horner believes only a massive ‘f**k up’ by Mercedes could cost them the 2019 constructors’ championship, due to the commanding lead they hold.
The Silver Arrows have won 10 out of the 12 races so far, with Lewis Hamilton collecting eight wins and Valtteri Bottas winning two. They currently hold a 150-point lead over Ferrari in the constructor rankings, while Red Bull are a further 44 points away from the Scuderia.
Hamilton is also set for title number six, holding a 62-point lead over Bottas. Max Verstappen is seven points behind the Finn in third.
In the V6 hybrid engine era, Mercedes have won every single championship and are going for their sixth in a row in 2019, and Horner reckons only a colossal mistake will cost them number six.
“Lewis has close to a three-race advantage with nine races to go, so he would have to not turn up for three races,” Horner said.
“It is hugely unlikely. They [Mercedes] would have to f**k up by gargantuan proportions not to win this championship.
“I think our target in the second half of the year is very much to close that gap. And as we get more performance on the car as Honda continues to make progress, this is very much a building year as we transition into 2020.”
Horner admits the team took time to adapt to the new front-wing regulations introduced last winter, but now they are looking much more comfortable with the upgrades on the car, especially since their opening win in Austria.
“I think that the regulations change over the winter definitely did hurt us with the way we worked the front wing,” the Red Bull team principal continued.
“But I think as the team have gained more understanding and have been able to use these new regulations better, we have been able to recover balance and characteristics of the car.
“Of course, that was combined with a tyre construction change as well, and those two elements hit us quite hard on the chassis side over the winter.
“But I think definitely we have made really good progress there in the last few months and hopefully with the development we see in the second half of the year, we have got a good vein of development that should continue to develop that.”
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