Date: 12th March 2014 at 9:05am
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Is Christian Horner playing mind games ahead of the upcoming 2014 FIA Formula One World Championship season?

Or is the team principal of Red Bull Racing being brutally honest regarding his teams chances in Australia?

The three winter test sessions in Spain and Bahrain would point to the latter, but surely Red Bull do not really believe that Mercedes will show the dominance that Horner has predicted?

‘You could see a higher level of domination than we had last year, Looking at Mercedes’ race simulation, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they finished two laps ahead of everyone in Melbourne. They have a massive advantage. What we know about Lewis is that he is extremely talented and naturally fast. And he’s in a good team, so he’s probably got to be the favourite going into the season.’ Horner told the Daily Mail as quoted by Sky Sports.

Could we really see Mercedes lap the entire field not once but twice?

The German manufacturers of course enjoyed an excellent winter testing programme and they did set some of the fastest times in the dessert and completed the most mileage.

But will they be that far ahead of the other Mercedes powered teams such as McLaren and Williams?

And what about the Ferrari duo of Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen?

We’ll have to just wait and see.

Speaking about Red Bull Racing’s own prospects for the new season, in an interview with The Daily Telegraph he continued: ‘I have every confidence in the team. There’s no panic. There are engineering solutions and there is no better set of engineers in the pit lane. By the time we get to the European races in May, we should be OK.’

Writing off the opening four rounds of the Championship, is not something Red Bull would have had planned as they dominated the closing stages of the 2013 season.

With both Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel targeting a fifth consecutive title challenge, having to watch on as others potentially pull out a points lead from Australia, Malaysia, Bahrain and China is far from ideal.

And the Red Bull boss has pointed the finger of blame at Renault for the team having to play catch up in 2014.

Adrian [Newey] and his technical have done an excellent job. We had some cooling issues early on, but we’ve worked hard to address those. The main bit we need to get on top of is with our engine partner, They [Renault] will catch up, they quite simply have to. We would hope by the time we arrive back in Europe that we’re seeing significant improvements.’

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