Christian Horner admits Ferrari tensions will ‘inevitably’ boil over

Max Verstappen has cut the points difference to 19 in the title race with Charles Leclerc

<p>Horner has been commenting on his rivals </p>

Horner has been commenting on his rivals

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says his team’s tension with rivals Ferrari will “inevitably” boil over this season.

Horner’s team are the defending champions after Max Verstappen won the world title in 2021. But he is not yet top of the driver standing’s with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc leading the way after five races this season.

The pair have had thrilling battles on track but it has not transformed into the fractured relationship Verstappen had with his rival in the last campaign, Lewis Hamilton.

The Dutchman and Hamilton crashed on multiple occasions, including at Silverstone and Monza, and Horner says the rivalry could get to that place again this season.

“Last year there was a lot of needle, a lot going on off track as well as on track, whereas this year seems much more focused about what’s going on on track,” Horner said.

“And I think the racing has been great between Charles and Max. And the first four races have been epic. If that continues through the season, inevitably it will boil over at some point as it gets more competitive and the stakes get higher in the second half of the year.

“But certainly what we’ve seen so far has been very respectful racing – hard racing but fair racing.”

Verstappen got the better of Leclerc at the Miami Grand Prix on Sunday after the Ferrari driver started on pole. The win for the Red Bull man means he is just 19 points behind Leclerc in the standings.

And when reflecting on the race, Leclerc said Ferrari need to deal with using different tyres better.

“In a race we need to, especially on the softer compounds, on the medium, soft, it seems it’s been already two races that in terms of race pace they (Red Bull) seem a bit stronger and to manage those tyres better,” he said.

Ferrari and Red Bull will butt heads again at the Spanish Grand Prix on 22 May.

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