Recently Red Bull boss Christian Horner claimed that George Russell's performance in the Sakhir GP proved that Max Verstappen was the best driver on the grid because any driver could walk into that Mercedes car replace Lewis Hamilton and still put in a dominant performance.
"At Mercedes, a Williams driver can qualify himself directly on the front row and Russell almost won the race," he told RacingNews365. "However, if at Red Bull someone has to get into Verstappen's car, for example, if Max had corona, then nobody will reach his level," said Horner.
These comments have been rubbished by Mercedes boss who still is in the process of closing a contract with the 7-time world champion. "Christian can't stop with the teasing in the background, but that's part of the game," he said Toto Wolff in an interview with Austria's ORF.
Wolff was also of the belief that there were many drivers on the grid who hadn't used top grade machinery. He said that drivers can only be judged when they are pitted up against each other in the same machinery.
"You can only judge the best drivers on the grid if you let them race each other," he added. We didn't see Lewis against Max, we didn't see George against Lewis, we haven't seen Charles Leclerc in a top car. But the future belongs to the young drivers and at some point, they will all race against each other with the same equipment and then we will see who is the best," he said, citing even the example of Ferrari's Charles Leclerc who decimated 4-tome world champion in the same machinery.
Horner's feisty comments will be tested as for the first time since Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen will be paired with a strong teammate in Sergio Perez who was arguably the driver of the 2020 season. One thing is for sure, the Red Bull's are going to be closer to the Mercedes as the regulations don't allow for massive changes to the car and the driver line-up that Red Bull has now is arguably the strongest on the grid.