Red Bull team boss Christian Horner is quick to address the potential of his rival Mercedes in 2022 - and predicts that the Silver Arrows and their 'extreme' W13 challenger will be swept away despite massive overhauls to the rules become a key factor in this year's title race.
Last year saw an epic showdown between the two teams, with Red Bull and Max Verstappen taking the drivers' title and Mercedes taking the constructors' title for the eighth time in a row.
Asked how he sees his priorities for 2022 so far on the second day of official pre-season testing in Bahrain, Horner replied that while he feels Ferrari is making a comeback, he has no doubts Mercedes will become a reality in this battle.
Horner said, for me, the car that looks the most consistent on the track is the Ferrari. "So far, they have tested very strongly in Barcelona and Bahrain...so I would say that from every race on the track, personally, they all look extremely competitive.
"But you should remember that these cars are still very immature. The pace of development is going to be fast and furious, and I hope that will change. Mercedes will be a big factor in this championship, and I have no idea about that.
Much has been done since the Mercedes W13 arrived in Bahrain, compared to the Barcelona exterior, with its sidepods being completely redesigned. Horner praised his rival's "innovative" approach to car design for 2022.
Obviously, the jungle drums are getting a little bigger for this kind of thing in Formula 1, and there have been rumors of some pretty radical statements," Horner said.
"What Mercedes has come up with is very innovative. It's a very different concept that we follow and some others have. It shows the creativity that exists even within the restrictive rules of Formula 1 that allow for very different solutions.