On the front, reliability was not perfect: Ferstappen lost the podium finish – and valuable points – with failures at both the Bahrain Grand Prix and the Australian Grand Prix.
He also said that the team needed to stop burdening themselves with the weekend due to challenges that limited his Friday to participate in the Miami Grand Prix.
His father Jos Ferstappen subsequently suggested that he could fully understand why his son was “a little annoying” about things.
But while there may have been signs of tension in public, Horner says the relationship between Ferstappen and the team is strong, and any clashes involve a desire to win.
“We’re a team, we’re all in it together,” Horner said when asked about the pressure he’s putting on the Ferstappen team.
“We push him and he pushes us as a team dynamics. I don’t think we ever expected after last year, when it passed the last race, we will be so competitive so early this season. ”
Christian Horner, Team Leader, Red Bull Racing, Max Ferstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1st place, celebrate victory
Photo: Carl Bingham / Drawings of motorsport
Horner praised the way Ferstappen manages, and believes he just shifted the form that led him to the 2021 world champion.
“I think he manages with great maturity and he does a really great job,” Horner said. “Last year Max rode at an incredible level, and this year he just kept going.”
But despite Ferstappen’s strong start and how Red Bull stepped up its game after presenting some car upgrades at the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix, Horner says there is little left to choose between the top two cars.
“I think they are very close,” he said. “I think it’s just an attempt to put together the best race you can.
“There is a long way to go. And I think it’s so close with Ferrari, it’s been a great race and you can see that there’s a lot of respect between Charles and Max.
“They enjoy racing with each other, it’s obvious. I rather hoped that we would not have another competitive year like last year, but it looks like this year may also be over. ”
With Ferrari preparing to bring a serious upgrade package to the Spanish Grand Prix, Horner is well aware that the weekend in Barcelona will give a good reflection of where the two teams are.
“It was a compression,” he said. “Barcelona is a completely new challenge. These are high turns and we know Ferrari is strong in this area. So these are horses for courses. Miami approached us, we were able to do it and, fortunately, we got the result. “