Red Bull team boss Christian Horner was caught on camera dishing out a brutal put down to Lewis Hamilton when the Brit sealed his seventh world title in 2020.
The following year would see tensions between Mercedes and Red Bull thrust into the spotlight, with suspense and antagonism mounting right up until a show-stopping finale.
Tensions flared in 2021, with Hamilton and title-rival Max Verstappen embroiled in thrilling battles almost every race week. The pair notably came together at Silverstone and Monza,
in a Championship battle which rarely saw them separated by more than a handful of points. Rivalry was not limited to the drivers either, as Horner and his Mercedes counterpart, Toto Wolff, regularly fired shots at each other in public.
Fans are already anticipating what the new season of Drive to Survive will reveal about the timeless battle, and they are given drama right from the off.
A statement to which Horner replied under his breath: “I wish he’d shut the f*** up.” The Red Bull boss would be the one smiling a year later when Verstappen overtook Hamilton at Yas Marina in controversial circumstances to snatch the world title.
FIA race director Michael Masi came under fire for effectively wiping out the Brit’s lead behind a late safety car, which handed the Red Bull man a prime opportunity to overtake on the final lap, which he grasped with both hands.
Verstappen’s world title will remain in the history books, but Masi was replaced as race director after a lengthy investigation. Still, in the wake of the Dutchman’s maiden Championship triumph, Horner got his 2020 wish when Hamilton withdrew from the public eye and sparked retirement fears with prolonged silence.
His comeback for this season is confirmed, however, and the stakes remain high for the 37-year-old who is chasing a record-breaking eighth world title – a milestone he feels should have been reached in December.
A new team-mate will also be thrown into the equation, with George Russell replacing Valtteri Bottas alongside the veteran F1 star. More fireworks could be on the cards this season after pre-season testing in Barcelona once again saw Mercedes and
Red Bull leading the way in terms of lap times. The Silver Arrows may have the edge as it stands with Hamilton and Russell out in front, but Horner pledged that the RB18 would look drastically different when it turns up on the grid in Bahrain later this month.
With new regulations to work with, it remains to be seen whether Mercedes and Red Bull will be closely-matched again in 2022.An even fight would allow last year’s title protagonists to go head-to-head, with drama produced almost every time they do.