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Christian Horner identifies key priority for Red Bull in F1 battle with Ferrari

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has identified the one thing his engineers should focus on as the Milton Keynes-based team chase down Ferrari in the world championships

Christian Horner believes Red Bull must look to reduce the weight of the car as they look to chase down Ferrari

Red Bull boss Christian Horner has suggested the weight of the RB18 needs to be further shed in order to compete with Ferrari in 2022. Charles Leclerc piloted his F1-75 to two wins early into the season to take a commanding lead in the Drivers’ Championship .

While Max Verstappen suffered reliability issues in Bahrain – along with teammate Sergio Perez – and Melbourne, the reigning world champion hit back with successive wins in Imola and the inaugural Miami Grand Prix. Verstappen is now 19 points behind his rival in the standings, with Red Bull trailing Ferrari by just six points.

While the Brit has expressed concern about the development race due to the ‘brutal’ costs of producing components, Horner wants his team to continue riding momentum. The 48-year-old is confident that saving weight is a priority for Red Bull’s engineers.

“You saw in Imola how quickly things can move around and I think we’ve got some interesting races coming up,” Horner said. “The car’s running well.

“We’ve got some developments coming hopefully later in the summer that will help as well. We need to save a little bit of weight.

“You can always improve everywhere. We need to improve the slow [corner] stuff, we need to lose a couple of kilos off the car; tire deg is then the result of weight so it’s all those little incremental gains that you’re always chasing.”

Reliability concerns have been rife in 2022, with Verstappen suffering two technical issues to retire twice in the first five races while Perez also joined him with a DNF in Bahrain. The Dutchman has won each of the races he has finished this season, and Horner assured fans that the engine problems will soon be resolved.

Max Verstappen and Red Bull team principal Christian Horner celebrate winning the Miami Grand Prix last weekend



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“I don’t think the car is particularly fragile – I just think there have been niggly things that you’ve normally seen in pre-season testing that have only reared their head now,” Horner added. “So that is frustrating, but we are working closely with HRC [Honda Racing Corporation] and they are giving us great support, and we’ll get those things figured out.”

Ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix next weekend, Horner believes Ferrari will have the advantage. The Red Bull boss pointed to the number of medium and high-speed corners in Barcelona as the reason why the Italian motorsport giants should be considered favourites.

Horner concluded: “It’s been nip-and-tuck and Barcelona is a whole new challenge, high-speed corners, and we know that Ferrari are strong in that area. It’s horses for courses and this circuit [Miami] suited us, we were able to make it work and get the result.”

The 22-race F1 2022 campaign – which is expected to return to a record 23 races in the near future once a Russian Grand Prix replacement is found – continues with the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona on May 22.

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