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Horner 'very surprised' at huge failed Mercedes decision

Horner 'very surprised' at huge failed Mercedes decision

Horner 'very surprised' at huge failed Mercedes decision

Horner 'very surprised' at huge failed Mercedes decision

Christian Horner has admitted he was 'very surprised' that Mercedes opted to stick with the same cars concept as the previous season, claiming they 'clearly failed'.

Despite finishing second in the constructors' championship, Mercedes encountered challenges throughout the 2023 Formula 1 season, leaving the team disappointed with their overall performance by the end of the season.

However, these challenges are not unfamiliar to Mercedes, as the 2022 season saw the team grappling to keep up with the pace set by Red Bull.

Red Bull team principal Horner has voiced his surprise at Mercedes retaining their 2022 car concept, emphasising that it clearly failed during that season.

“Well, Toto tends to be a little dramatic anyway,” Horner said to Motorsport.com when asked about Mercedes abandoning the ‘zeropod’ concept.

“I think what surprised us was that Ferrari had a very good car last year. And the natural evolution of that we expected it to be a very tight contender this year.

“We were very surprised to see Mercedes sticking with the concepts that had clearly failed the previous year.”

READ MORE: Unique Red Bull signed by Verstappen goes up for auction

Mercedes struggled to compete with Red Bull during the 2023 season
Christian Horner says he was surprised that Mercedes kept their 2022 concept

Red Bull dominance

Red Bull dominated 21 out of the 22 races on the 2023 calendar, achieving their first-ever 1-2 finish in the drivers' championship.

Red Bull dominated the 2023 F1 season

Horner also shared his initial thoughts on the Red Bull 2023 car, claiming he saw its potential during pre-season testing.

“Coming out of Bahrain, we felt like, ‘we've got a really good package here’,” Horner added. “But we didn't know whether it was circuit specific – temperature, conditions, asphalt.

“So, it's only when you've had a sample of two or three and you've gone to a couple of circuits that have been more troublesome, certainly for us the previous year, like Melbourne for example, that suddenly you're thinking, 'ok, no, this is really together'.

“And so yeah, it takes a sample of a few races to get a clear overview. Nobody was coming out of Bahrain getting too carried away.”

READ MORE: Alonso praises Schumacher over F1 change

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