Red Bull expect Mercedes, Ferrari fight in 2020, but fearful of 2021
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes next season's title race could be the most exciting in Formula 1 for some time, but is unsure whether the thrills will carry over to 2021.
Mercedes have romped to a sixth straight title double in 2019, with Lewis Hamilton also securing his sixth individual crown.
However, signs have pointed towards both Red Bull and Ferrari closing the gap as the season has gone on – the Scuderia recently took six straight pole positions.
Although Horner believes the three could come even closer together next year, the sweeping regulation changes for 2021 prompt concerns that the field could become spread again.
"They are the benchmark and it feels like the grid is concertinaing a bit," Horner said.
"Usually a regulation change spreads it apart. It might be ironic that 2020 might be the closest year we have, with a three-way battle, before everything changes for 2021."
Red Bull started 2019 with doubts over their ability to maintain pace with Mercedes and Ferrari as they switched to Honda power units, but Verstappen has continued to deliver strong results to keep them third in the standings.
"This year was always going to be a transitional year with a new engine partner," Horner said.
"I have to say all compliments to Honda with all the progress they have made this year with performance.
"We have made good progress throughout the year, we have had a couple of wins, we have achieved a couple of poles although only started on pole once, and we have been contender to win a few races this year.
"In Monaco we were very competitive, Hungary as well, we were in a position potentially to win that race, and [in the United States] again we have been that competitive.
"So we are on the right trajectory. It is important that we carry the momentum into the winter and then into the beginning of next year."
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