Jun.10 (GMM) Christian Horner has denied claims from rival team Mercedes that Red Bull’s latest car upgrades were in fact a “downgrade”.

Max Verstappen managed to win Sunday’s Canadian GP, but not without polesitter George Russell (Mercedes) and Lando Norris (McLaren) also looking like potential winners throughout the wet-dry race.

“You don’t want these kind of races all the time because it’s too stressful,” the triple world champion smiled.

It is obvious that Red Bull’s period of dominance is now definitely over, with many wondering exactly why – a simple convergence in the third year of the 2022 regulations, or because of the internal turmoil at the team.

“These messy weekends are not what we are used to from Red Bull,” said former team driver Robert Doornbos. “They have mechanical problems and setup problems.”

F1 legend Jean Alesi thinks Red Bull is already starting to miss Adrian Newey’s input.

“My feeling is that, without Newey, Red Bull is like an orchestra, like La Scala in Milan, but without the conductor,” said the Frenchman.

Mercedes’ technical boss James Allison thinks Red Bull’s factory tools, like the wind tunnel and simulation setups, might have lost their accuracy.

“No, absolutely not,” Red Bull boss Horner hit back. “All the updates that were implemented have their place on the car.

“It’s just that there are a lot of cars on the grid now that are similar to ours, and I regard it as healthy competition.”

But another issue could be Sergio Perez, despite the fact that he has just been re-signed for up to two full seasons. Horner admits that Canada was a “terrible” weekend for the Mexican.

“Checo cannot adapt as well as Max when the car is not optimal,” he said. “But we need two drivers who score points if we want to win the constructors’ championship.”

And even team consultant Dr Helmut Marko admits that another team has a clearly better overall driver lineup at present.

“Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri at McLaren,” the 81-year-old said when asked by Le Journal de Montreal to name the best driver lineup in Formula 1.

“They are young and they are hungry, and at the moment they get along and work well together.”

Former F1 driver Christijan Albers thinks Horner had other things in mind by keeping Perez at the team for at least 2025.

“I have the feeling that with this power struggle, Christian Horner thinks ‘ok, I have to ensure that we have peace in the team now’, but this was not the right choice,” he told Viaplay.

“He should have left the driver decision to Helmut Marko.”