Red Bull boss Horner: 2022 success 'beyond my wildest expectations'

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An increasingly dominant 2022 Formula 1 season is beyond Red Bull boss Christian Horner's "wildest expectations".

After Ferrari charged out the gate in the opening few races, the Milton Keynes-based outfit has taken over winning eight of the last 10 races to sit handsomely at the top of both championships.

And while Red Bull can partly thank several faux pas from their Italian counterparts for their leads, just the fact the team is so competitive surprised Horner following their epic battle with Mercedes in 2021.

"Look, if you would have told me going into last year that with the biggest regulation change in 40 years, and with the effort we put into last year’s championship, we’d be sitting here with nine Grand Prix victories, two Sprint victories and leading both championships, that would have been beyond my wildest expectations," he said.

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"I think it is really a testament to the determination, dedication and hard work that has gone on behind the scenes at the factory.

"Now, we've seen Ferrari are very competitive also this year, we’ve seen other teams – Mercedes for sure are gathering momentum – but considering that we were probably the last team to transition [development] fully onto this car it’s been a phenomenal job."

But while back-to-back titles for Max Verstappen and Red Bull's first Constructors' crown since 2013 appear almost guaranteed right now, there is still some caution on calling it a done deal.

“The points tables look healthy, and it’s a great way to sign off into the summer break,” Horner conceded. “But there is still a lot of racing to go.

"It's where you are at the end of the season that really counts. So whilst it's been a very encouraging first half of the year, it's now all about what we do in the second half of the season.

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"There’s still a long, long way to go in this championship, plus a sprint race," he noted. "There’s still a lot of racing to do and they’re at very different venues so we don’t take anything for granted.

"Ferrari are quick, Mercedes are coming back into the game. You can see they're getting closer to the action and I think at certain circuits they could well pose a threat later in the year."

One thing Horner did admit though was relief that this year's title battle lacks the intensity of 2021.

“There’s not one ounce of me that wishes that," he stated when asked if he hoped for a more competitive final nine races.

“Last year was a heavyweight bout that went 22 rounds, and I’d prefer not to have to go through that again.”