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Red Bull has “plenty on” to beat “mighty” Mercedes - Horner

Red Bull has “plenty on” to beat “mighty” Mercedes - Horner

F1 News

Red Bull has “plenty on” to beat “mighty” Mercedes - Horner

Red Bull has “plenty on” to beat “mighty” Mercedes - Horner

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has conceded the team faces a major challenge to beat the “mighty” Mercedes cars in this weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Since Mercedes faltered in pre-season testing, there has been a growing level of excitement for a title battle between the reigning champions and Red Bull but after Valtteri Bottas topped both Friday practice sessions, the signs are ominous for Horner's team.

Red Bull lost vital running in each of the Friday sessions following a collision for Sergio Perez and a breakdown for Max Verstappen.

Horner admitted: “Mercedes have looked mighty in both sessions.

“I think we’ve had a sample of one track so far [this season] and they were every bit as quick, if not quicker in the [Bahrain] race, certainly better degradation in the race, and then they’ve been extremely strong here with both cars.

“We’ve got plenty on to try to give them a hard time.”

Perez collided with Esteban Ocon’s Alpine in opening practice, when a lack of communication caused by a blackout in the official communications channels left the team unable to warn of the traffic around him.

Verstappen’s preparations were then hampered in second practice when he ran wide at Rivazza, damaged the driveshaft and stopped at the end of the pit exit. His car could not be recovered in time to get back on track.

That leaves the team on the back foot ahead of a crucial qualifying session later today, where pole position or at least a grid spot ahead of Mercedes will be vital given the lack of overtaking opportunities at the Imola track.

“It’s going to be important because we know it’s hard to get close enough to pass around here,” said Horner. “Although the weather looks inclement over the next couple of days, even more so Sunday now…”

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