Christian Horner says he can understand why his calls for the FIA to step in to prevent Mercedes from walking away with the 2015 Formula 1 World Championship could be seen as hypocritical, but insists the Red Bull was continually pegged back when it was winning.
Red Bull clinched four world titles between 2010 and 2013 with Sebastian Vettel at the wheel, but has failed to mount a consistent challenge to Mercedes since a change in the regulations introduced V6 hybrid power units.
With Red Bull suffering a poor start to the year as its Renault engine struggles for pace and reliability, Horner has called on the FIA to introduce equalisation measures to stop Mercedes – which scored a 1-2 by more than half a minute – from walking away with a second consecutive crown so easily.
However, while Horner's calls have been met with cynicism from some corners of the paddock given the way Red Bull ruled the order for four seasons, the man himself insists he is not being hypocritical now that he isn't winning, suggesting his team was pegged back on numerous occasions.
“I can understand that [the hypocrisy suggestions], but when we were performing, we never had the level of dominance we are seeing, nowhere near. At any point in time that we did show a bit of form, rules changed.
“We had to adapt to that, we had to adapt from fuelling, to no refuelling, to bodywork change, double diffuser to no double diffuser, blown diffuser, engine mapping changes mid-season you name it. We are set for a season with quite a broad running order.”
Indeed, Horner says the struggles currently being experienced by Honda suggest the current rules have become too complicated to make racing competitive.
“I think they have a very reliable and a very together car. The power unit is so complicated. Looking at a company the size of Honda and the preparation time they've had, to come here and be so far off the pace at the back of the grid – it demonstrates how hard it is.
“Maybe these things are just too complicated. We've made life complicated and off the back of that is cost and off the back of that is why teams are in trouble – Manor couldn't even start their car. How right is that?”
Toto Wolff has already dismissed Horner's suggestions for equalisation, urging him to get his head down
and work on a solution to Red Bull's problems.