Christian Horner is happy to have seen the progress made by Red Bull this Sunday, after two very difficult days of testing in Singapore. The team boss explains that the cautions caused Max Verstappen to lose more than 20 seconds, without which he would have been able to play in the lead.
“I think we understood a lot better during the race and the pace of the car was more than we expected,” Horner said. “Coming here, we expected a closer competition. But I think we were a little surprised by the difference we had on Friday.”
“And I think we just weren’t in the right window for the car to work, especially on a single lap, and when you’re not in that window, the tires are horrible, nothing works.
“This has actually been a very useful lesson for next year because it gives us very useful information on some things that we hope to be able to rectify in our future RB20.”
“The safety car allowed the others to stop for free. It made us gain positions, but it made us start again with tires that were very difficult to warm up, after having done more than 20 laps. The safety car completely ruined us.”
“So Max was picked up by the guys who made a free stop and we had to make a pit stop in normal racing conditions, which makes you lose another 23 seconds.
Verstappen could have been “in the mix” to win
Horner believes that without a race marked by the two cautions, Verstappen could have even played for victory: “I think in the pre-race simulations there was talk of seventh place. But that is in a standard race.”
“I think, ironically, if we had had a standard race, with the strategy we had with Carlos slowing down at the front due to the degradation of the hard tires, Max would definitely have come into play with the pace he had at the end of the race. “
“So when you look at the distance, the delta that I had compared to the leaders at the end of the race, if you take away the delta for the free stops, suddenly, boom, he’s in the mix.”
Red Bull hopes to be “competitive” in Japan
Horner congratulates Carlos Sainz and Ferrari for the victory and points out that thanks to his team’s performance and the points saved this weekend, the two titles are getting closer for Red Bull and Verstappen.
“And je dois féliciter Ferrari et en particulier Carlos, qui a fait une très bonne course et méritait de gagner la course. In même temps, nous nous sommes rapprochés des deux championnats, et nous avons une chance de remporter le championnat des constructeurs au Japon next weekend.”
According to him, Red Bull does not have any particular problem and this mishap should not be repeated in Suzuka this weekend: “I think if you look at the last 18 months, this is probably one of our weekends. – The most delicate endings of the championship . race, in any case on Friday and Saturday”.
“I think in the race the car was quite strong. But they are two completely different tracks and two completely different types of circuits, so I hope we can be competitive in Japan next weekend.”