Even though he technically paid for it already.
Oracle Red Bull Racing's team principal, Christian Horner, recently pulled one of the most incredible stunts at the Autosport Awards Charity Auction.
One of the items up for grabs was a tour of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 team's facilities in the UK. Horner put in a winning bid of $5,400. The money raised by the auction supports F1's trackside and factory-team employees.
Considering the extensive 2022 rule changes, it's not hard to see why this might be a problem for the Mercedes F1 team. To have your main rival lurking about seeing what loopholes the engineers discover is less than ideal. We can only imagine Horner pitching up at the front door in his Aston Martin DB11.
Horner even went as far as joking that he'd be taking his entire team of engineers and trackside staff with him on the tour.
Alas, the tour will not be taking place. According to Racing News 365, the auctioneers were brighter than Horner. The prize came with a clause preventing other teams from going on the tour. We doubt Horner is disappointed for two reasons. First, Red Bull's RB18 was already unveiled last week, though Horner made a point of telling the press that the 2022 F1 car would definitely evolve.
Secondly, we don't believe it was an actual attempt at getting a behind-the-scenes look at the car, but rather a cheeky practical joke for charity. Mercedes could very easily hide everything before a tour. And, if you really want to spy on other teams, it's much easier to do so trackside.
Mercedes and Red Bull are typically placed right next to each other during a race, and it's much easier to just glance around the corner.
Horner spoke with Racing News 365 shortly after the bid. "Adrian Newey, myself, Pierre Wache and probably Paul Field, our Director of Production," said Horner when asked who he'd take along.
Horner also mentioned that he had been to a rival's facility before, having checked out McLaren's digs back in 2008. David Coulthard took Horner and Newey on a tour. "I went with Adrian; he obviously knew his way around, and everywhere he wanted to go, we weren't allowed," said Horner of that particular tour.
"I think we saw the marketing and electronics departments and had a very nice lunch, and that was about it."
We doubt Horner is disappointed, though this could have been a perfect PR opportunity to show the fans that both teams are in a good place and ready for the new season. Perhaps it's still too soon after the 2021 controversy.
Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 has yet to unveil its 2022 car, but it couldn't help but throw some shade on the day Red Bull unveiled the RB18, as you can see below.