Runs a smaller rear wing configuration enabled Max Verstappen to enjoy a linear speed advantage over Mercedes over the weekend and helped him defeat Lewis Hamilton in the final stages of the race to take his third victory of the season.
After Paul Ricard race, both Hamilton and Mercedes team manager Toto Wolff suggested that Red Bull’s performance had been enhanced by a Honda engine upgrade, with both Red Bull and sister group AlphaTauri moving over to their second engine unit in France, France.
Wolff said: “They have taken a big step forward with their power unit, the introduction of the other power unit, and their race car is good, no doubt about it.”
F1’s rules state that teams must run the same specific power unit throughout the season with an engine homologation period in place until 2022.
As a result, Horner has been confused by the remarks from the Mercedes camp.
“We are not allowed to make progress,” he replied when asked about Wolff’s comments. “I do not know what he is referring to there.
“I think it’s the same specification as the first unit. We’ve run a much smaller rear wing, so that’s why the straight line performance was strong.
“I think Honda is doing a good job, but we are not seeing a sudden marked increase in power.”
And Horner believes the Red Bulls victory in France was the perfect answer to refuting recent allegations about how the team drove its tires and the rear wing.
“There have been a lot of comments in the last few weeks, accusations have been made,” he added.
“But we abide by the rules and the way we reacted, I think again, it shows the strength and depth that our performance is not based on flexibility in the back wing, and at all times we have always followed the regulations of Pirelli.
“It was clear that the increase in tire pressure over the weekend was challenging for all the teams. But again, the engineering team has done a good job of optimizing the car around it. ”