Horner sees advantage for Verstappen: “Hamilton will be happy with that for a while”


Christian Horner is thrilled with one of the most important pole positions of Max Verstappen’s career. The Red Bull driver managed to beat Lewis Hamilton, so that the Briton starts next to Verstappen in second place. Much is due to Sergio Perez, who provided an important slipstream for Verstappen on the straight. He won a few tenths with that.

“We discussed a slipstream this morning,” Horner begins in conversation with Sky Sports. “We also opted for less downforce, because that was the only way to equalize on the straight. Q2 got better, but blocking mediums forced us onto the softs. Then it was Checo who helped with the slipstream on the straight. Absolute teamwork this Saturday.’

‘Slipstream certainly didn’t help for half a second’

Horner is extremely satisfied with the lap that Verstappen managed to squeeze out. “I think it’s one of Verstappen’s best rounds of the year,” said the Red Bull team boss. He could have been at that time even without a slipstream. That slipstream might have gotten him a tenth or two, but certainly not half a second. Verstappen has given everything. It’s surprising that Mercedes couldn’t hit back on that last lap, we owe this pole position to Max.”

According to Horner, the Dutchman drives ‘with passion’. And Perez sacrificed a lap for his teammate. You can’t ask for more than that.’ Because Red Bull has opted for a different strategy, Horner does not know who will have an advantage. “It’s 50/50. We don’t mind starting on the softs. The medium is a bit more robust, but relegation is going to be interesting during the race.”

‘We start on the clean side’

“We have to drive as well as possible during the race,” Horner continues about the last Sunday of the season. Hopefully that will be enough to beat Hamilton. He has a lot of drivers on soft tires around him. He’ll be happy with that for the first few laps. We start on the clean side with a better tire. We have to focus on ourselves,” Horner concluded.

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