British Team Principal of the Red Bull Racing Formula One team, Christian Horner, feels that Scuderia Ferrari will be able to challenge at the top of Formula 1 again next season. Alongside Mercedes, both the Maranello team and Red Bull had been considered front-running teams in the turbo-hybrid era, as Ferrari tried to challenge Mercedes in 2017 and 2018, before a power unit issue contributed to a plunge into the lower midfield order for Ferrari in 2020.
Now though, the Italian side is rebuilding and already 2021 has been a marked improvement with two pole positions and three podium finishes putting them in a battle with McLaren for P3 in the Constructors’ Championship. The next stage then is for Ferrari to rejoin Mercedes and Red Bull in the hunt for consistent podiums and race victories:
“It is a big team with two very good drivers [Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz] and I expect them to be a contender from next year.” – Christian Horner expects said in an interview for Italian daily newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport – “Their performance has improved, the engine too and they have a new power unit coming. They will be back.”
Of course, the order for 2022 could differ greatly from 2021, with teams working under a budget cap to develop the redesigned cars for next season. This is why Christian Horner is aware there is no room for mistakes, as undoing them would be extremely challenging.
“You start from a blank sheet of paper, some might interpret the rules better than others. It will be fascinating to watch the first part of next season. With the budget cap, if you take the wrong direction it is very difficult to recover. We mustn’t make mistakes.”
The new rules for 2022 are the first major change in Formula 1’s model for the future, and the next stage is the power units with new versions set to arrive in 2025 or 2026. Porsche and Audi are known to be part of the talks, and Horner said the engines must help ensure Formula 1 remains a spectacle to keep interest in the series.
Christian Horner pointed to Formula E’s struggles as proof that Formula 1 needs to “maintain a clear purpose”.
“It’s good that other big companies are interested in entering F1. It means this category is still attractive. Whereas in Formula E we see the opposite phenomenon, because many are leaving. Whatever engine we have in 2025/2026 has to sound good and entertain because F1 is about spectacle. Electric racing has not broken through. Grand prix, on the contrary, must maintain a clear purpose.” – the Red Bull boss concluded.