Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says his squad makes major Formula 1 rivals Ferrari and Mercedes nervous due to its ‘maverick’ nature.

With Red Bull’s resurgence continuing in 2018, with Daniel Ricciardo taking two wins inside the opening third of the year, Horner feels his team is starting to equal its race pace and performance against the factory efforts of Ferrari and Mercedes which has opened up a three-team fight for F1 world titles.

While both its main rivals have strengthened ties to its customer teams, Horner is eager to see his team take the fight to two works efforts and go ‘against the grain’.

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The Red Bull team boss feels its presence as a regular front-runner has unsettled both Ferrari and Mercedes and is eager to continue this trend along with support from sister squad Toro Rosso.

“We’ve got a little brother in Toro Rosso and Red Bull has always been a bit of a maverick team,” Horner told Sky Sports F1. “It has always gone against the grain and has never been controllable by Ferrari and Mercedes.

“This is probably why they see us as such a threat so it’s probably why we make them nervous.”

Horner feels the customer Mercedes squads produce less of a fight against the works team due to its vest interests, pointing to the incident at the Monaco Grand Prix where Force India’s Esteban Ocon, a Mercedes junior driver, appeared to openly oblige to allow Lewis Hamilton overtake him.

“They [Mercedes] are certainly controlling as you could see in Monaco what happened there as there is a lot of control over that team [Force India].”

Force India chief Otmar Szafnauer has shrugged off the suggestion by pointing to Ocon’s race strategy differing to Hamilton’s and feared his driver would have lost time to its direct rivals in Monaco.

“We were running our own race against not Lewis at the time,” Szafnauer said in Canada. “We didn’t want to lose any time whatsoever because it was Alonso pitted before us and tried to undercut us.

“We didn’t want to do was lose any time at all with Lewis so that Alonso would have a chance to get us, which is why we told Esteban to not lose any time to Lewis. If you’re racing in your mirrors, you’re not going as fast.”

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