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F1: Horner Says 'Unlikely' Red Bull Can Catch Mercedes, Ricciardo Disagrees Photo:
 
 
TMR Team | Aug, 15 2014 | 0 Comments

Boss Christian Horner has admitted it is "unlikely" Red Bull will catch up with dominant Mercedes in 2014.

But F1's surprise on-form youngster Daniel Ricciardo, who entered the current summer break with a second win of the season, is more confident.

"When maybe some of us say it (the championship) is over, it's just purely looking at the performance of Mercedes," said the Australian.

"But (teammate) Seb is right in saying until it's mathematically over, it isn't."

Although strong throughout 2013, it wasn't until after the summer break a year ago that Red Bull - whose Sebastian Vettel then ran all the way to the finale without being beaten - really hit its utterly dominant stride.

Ricciardo is similarly confident this year.

"I feel since I entered formula one that the second part of the season has always gone better for me," he told CNN.

"So we'll see how it's going and try and get a few more wins."

Boss Horner, however, doubts Red Bull can overcome or compensate for what he describes as a 65-horsepower deficit to dominant Mercedes through the summer break and the remaining eight races of 2014.

"In all honesty it's probably unlikely," he said. "If you look at the gap, it's a significant gap.

"Last year was more of a level playing field on the power unit side. But obviously with the big regulation change, Mercedes are in a position of real dominance; dominance we haven't seen for a long, long time.

"We're keeping pushing, we're keeping the hammer down and hopefully after the summer break we'll have some circuits coming up that we will be able to get even closer," Horner added.

"But I don't think you'll see a situation like we had last year."

Given its slide behind Mercedes in 2014, Red Bull is at another crossroads -- its highly-rated technical director Adrian Newey, frustrated with the sport's ever-tightening rules, has decided to slip into a background role.

"It's no secret that Adrian wanted to lighten his commitment a little," Horner is quoted by Italy's Autosprint, "but it doesn't mean that we are going to look for a new technical director.

"He will still be very involved with the technical choices," Horner explained, "helping us to choose a direction in the design and development.

"We have a very strong technical team," Horner insisted. "The situation allows us to promote and develop the people who work behind Adrian and give them more responsibility.

"We knew of his (Newey's) design to slow down and we have prepared for it well, adapting to the situation in a way that will benefit everyone."

(GMM)

 

Massa wants Williams to beat old team Ferrari

Felipe Massa says his new team Williams is locked in a battle with Ferrari, for whom he raced in formula one for eight years until his ousting last year.

With Williams ending its slump this year but fabled Ferrari struggling in the first half-season of the new V6 era, Brazilian Massa thinks he left the Maranello marque at the right time.

"I think so," he told Brazil's Sportv.

"It was very important for me. Sometimes a change does you good," said Massa, "I needed it even if some things did not all fit together yet.

"But it will (fit), and I think we can have a very positive future with this new team," he added.

Valtteri Bottas has been the real star of Williams' 2014 resurgence, but teammate Massa says he is happy to be involved in the fight to displace Ferrari as a top-three force in the constructors' world championship.

Williams lost its top-three place to the great Scuderia last time out in Hungary, but Massa insists: "Our fight now is with Ferrari.

"We were in front until the last race and Ferrari had a better race than Williams, but the chance to finish the year ahead of Ferrari is very large. That's what we want.

"To be able to come up in one year into the top three, ahead of a big team like Ferrari, is very positive," he added.

(GMM)

 

McLaren looking to 'refresh' driver lineup - Boullier

Eric Boullier has admitted McLaren is looking to eventually "refresh" its driver lineup.

Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen only debuted this year, but Mexican Sergio Perez was also only a single season into his McLaren career when he was ousted at the end of 2013.

It is rumoured strongly that, ahead of the start of its works Honda partnership, Woking based McLaren is seeking a top driver to spearhead the project, such as former team racers Fernando Alonso or Lewis Hamilton, or quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel.

"I can only do my best and hope that is good enough," said Magnussen.

"Anyone at McLaren should feel that you have to deliver to your best to deserve to be there and that goes for me and Jenson as well."

It is believed that if McLaren does oust a current driver to make way for a newcomer, it would be the 2009 world champion Jenson Button, 34, who is out of contract.

McLaren supremo Ron Dennis made waves recently when he urged Button to "try harder".

"Jenson knows the important thing is to score as many points as he can," team boss Boullier is quoted by Britain's Mirror newspaper.

"He doesn't have to prove anything as he is a world champion and has won many races for McLaren.

"We need to be realistic as well, because in one, two, three years we may need to refresh our driver lineup and obviously we will be seeking the best drivers at that moment in time," he added.

For his part, Button - the second-oldest driver in F1 but even more experienced than Kimi Raikkonen - insists he intends to stay on the grid for a sixteenth consecutive season in 2015.

"Right now, my interest is to race in F1," he said.

"In F1 the emotions are all over the place -- it is highs, it is lows. I have lived my life like that for a long time and I want to continue my life like that.

"I am young and fast and enjoy what I do for a living, and I don't want that to change," added Button.

(GMM)

 
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