Christian Horner has revealed he expects the rivalry between Red Bull and Mercedes to remain "as pertinent as ever" in the coming season.
Red Bull team principal Horner endured a fierce battle with his Mercedes opposite number Toto Wolff last year with the bitterness often more evident on the pit wall than between drivers Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.
The two teams ended the first pre-season test in Spain at the top of the timesheets and he does not expect the rivalry to have lost any of its edge over the winter.
“Certainly, we hope that there is going to be an equally exciting year, ideally a little less exciting at times, but an exciting season ahead and I think there could be some other competitors joining that battle as well," said Horner.
“Particularly with a clean sheet of paper with these brand new cars, it’s a complete reset.
"It’s arguably the biggest regulation change in the last 40 years but I’m sure the intensity of the rivalry between the teams and the drivers will be as pertinent as ever.”
The controversial season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix remained a topic of discussion across the winter with the FIA taking the decision to remove Michael Masi as race director and reshuffle and improve its race management team.
“I think that maybe we share a difference of opinion over Abu Dhabi but that is now done and dusted and all focus is now very much on 2022," added Horner.
“I think what you did see last year was a fantastic competition from the first race to the last race and I think that has been a key part of Formula 1’s revival in popularity has been that competition."