Christian Horner admitted Red Bull’s inferiority to Mercedes in 2021, saying that they would have trounced them if it weren’t for Max Verstappen.

Red Bull lost out on the Constructors’ Championship to Mercedes on the last day of the season. However, from a team point of view, the latter realistically should have wrapped that battle up many races prior.

Instead, it was the mad scoring ability of Verstappen which kept Red Bull in the hunt. The Dutchman’s sheer consistency ended up winning him a maiden world championship and kept his team in the hunt for the Constructors’, something they lost on the final day.

Horner admitted Red Bull’s inferiority to Mercedes in 2021, saying that they would have ran away with the titles if not for Super Max.

“It’s been an incredible year and when you look back at the season as a whole, 22 races, I think the biggest season Formula 1 has ever had,” Horner told RacingNews365.com.

“From the first race in Bahrain it has been so competitive. There’s been on average probably 0.1, 0.2s between the two drivers (Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton) throughout the season.

Horner’s difference maker was Verstappen (pictured). Source: Getty Images

“I think the way that Max has driven throughout the year, what’s really stood out for me is in moments of adversity where he’s just kept his head down he’s kept believing, he’s kept pushing, he’s kept driving the team forward.

“We’ve known every time he’s got in the car he’s given it 110 percent and that lifts everybody around them. Particularly in the second half of the year when we didn’t have the fastest package, he kept us in this championship, he kept fighting, he kept believing.

Fine margins

“There’s been some big moments,” he continued.  

“It was important to get those victories, to get the run of results, and there were moments like Azerbaijan that we had to come back from, and it was important to come back strong. Max did that.

Silverstone was a key moment and again how you come back from that. For me the latter part of the championship, particularly Austin, where we were certainly the underdog that day but he delivered a victory that was truly outstanding.”

Read more: Coulthard believes Verstappen has “got in the psyche of Hamilton”

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