The Milton Keynes-based squad’s generous advantage has allowed it to already start focusing on next year’s car without having to bring any significant upgrades to its current machine, which has allowed its rival teams to start closing the gap.
But regardless of Red Bull’s absence from 2023’s development war, Horner believes there are signs that rival teams are converging on it, which he believes will continue if the regulations are left alone until 2026.
He, therefore, rules out that Red Bull, which has also been afforded the least amount of development time as part of F1’s ATR success handicap, will be able to emulate Mercedes’ dominant streak between 2014 and 2020.
“One thing that we know from this sport is that things will converge. You can already see it starting to happen, and the most important thing to have convergence is to have stability,” Horner said after Verstappen’s British Grand Prix win.
“Stability of regulations will bring all of the teams much closer together. You can see this is already starting to happen. It’s not going to be another seven years of domination.
“The power units are all pretty similar now and the chassis evolve much quicker than the engines do. We can already see from the start of the season to now, that things are already converging.”
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, lifts the winners trophy
Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images
Horner says it is “inevitable” to see teams starting to copy Red Bull’s successful car design, with McLaren’s successful overhaul of its MCL60 the latest “flattering” effort to replicate his team’s performance.
“It’s a very similar concept; I was looking at the car on the grid,” Horner added.
“It’s the first time we’ve really seen it this year and you can see the philosophy they’ve borrowed is very similar. They’ve chosen a similar path. It’s flattering, isn’t it?
“It’s inevitable that this will happen and why wouldn’t you? When you have got a car that is performing like ours, it’s fairly logical that you look to emulate it, which some teams have chosen to do.
“Their performance at this circuit has been very strong but it will be very interesting to see how that pans out over the next few races.”