Red Bull chief Christian Horner believes the 2019 Formula 1 season is “very much a Mercedes championship” following the German manufacturer’s “exceedingly dominant” start to the year.

Mercedes is enjoying its best-ever start to an F1 season after claiming five straight one-two finishes from the opening five rounds of the campaign.

Lewis Hamilton currently holds the championship lead, with the first non-Mercedes driver, Max Verstappen, sitting third and 46 points adrift of the Briton. Mercedes also boasts a near 100-point lead over its chief rival Ferrari in the constructors’ standings.

“I think it’s very much a Mercedes championship, you can see after five races they are three points off a maximum score,” Horner said following the Spanish Grand Prix.

“It’s still a long year and we take things race-by-race. They had a really dominant performance. They're always strong in Barcelona but certainly their fifth one-two finish is exceedingly dominant.”

Asked if he feels Mercedes can go on to win all 21 races, Horner replied: “I doubt it. 21 races to achieve 21 victories, you can never say never but it would be a hell of an achievement.”

Despite Mercedes’ current stranglehold at the top of F1’s pecking order, Horner reckons the reigning world champions can be overthrown in the coming years.

“Anybody can be beaten. Formula 1 is all about teamwork, it’s the biggest teams in the world,” he said.

“Mercedes at the moment are on the crest of a wave but that never lasts forever and our job is to ensure that we have all the tools and capability to take that challenge to them in the coming years.”

Having overseen a period of prolonged Red Bull success between 2010 and 2013, Horner said he can sympathise with Mercedes boss Toto Wolff amid criticism that the team’s domination is hurting the sport.

“It’s not your job [to worry about making F1 boring], running a team you’re responsible for the speed of your cars,” Horner explained.

“Of course that’s slightly conflicted because the fan in you wants it to be exciting, so the most exciting championships we won were in 2010 when it went down to the wire with [Fernando] Alonso and [Lewis] Hamilton and our two drivers and 2012 when it went right to the wire with Fernando.

“Your sense of achievement then is something very special, but when you’re running a team your responsibility is the team.”

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