Max Verstappen’s remarkable fightback victory from 10th on the grid at the Hungarian Grand Prix has seen the Red Bull driver move into a seemingly unassailable 80-point championship lead.
The Dutchman’s route to victory was helped by a strategic blunder from Ferrari that wrecked Charles Leclerc’s race, meaning he missed the chance to take a win that would have reduced Verstappen’s advantage.
A series of mistakes and failures from Ferrari have inadvertently strengthened Red Bull’s position in both world championships, with the title race already petering out into an anti-climax.
It marks a stark contrast from the titanic championship battle that raged between Mercedes and Red Bull throughout the entirety of last season.
Asked if there was even a small part of him that would have liked to have seen Ferrari putting up more of a fight, Horner said: “There’s not one ounce of me that wishes that.
“Last year was a heavyweight bout that went 22 rounds. And I’d prefer not to have to go through that again.”
Such is the commanding nature of Verstappen’s current championship position, he could go on to seal his second world title without winning another race this season.
Meanwhile, Red Bull appear on course to win their first constructors’ crown since 2013, holding a 97-point lead over Ferrari with nine races to go.
“The points tables look healthy, and it’s a great way to sign off into the summer break,” Horner added. “But there is still a lot of racing to go.
“Ferrari are quick, Mercedes are coming back into the game. There’s still a long, long way to go in this championship, plus a sprint race.
“So we don’t take anything for granted. There’s still a lot of racing to do and they’re at very different venues.”
Prior to the Hungarian Grand Prix, Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto said he could see no reason why the team couldn’t go on to win all the remaining races to save their world championship hopes.
In what appeared to be a slight dig towards Binotto, Horner insisted Red Bull will always remain cautious about their competitiveness.
“I think even if we’d won by a lap, I’d still have always been naturally cautious,” he said. “I would never make a claim that we’re going to finish first and second in the next race.
“It’s the way we go racing. We focus on the here and now and take each race as it comes. We’ve not been as competitive on a Saturday but on a Sunday, we’ve been extremely competitive.