With the Lorail International Circuit, the world of F1 is treated to a new circuit in the premier class. With little data available, it remains to be seen what the best strategy is. Also at Red Bull they don’t know exactly what to expect on Sunday. “But I think we’re going to have a good race,” predicts Christian Horner at Sky Sports.
“Certainly the first 500 meters to the start.” The Red Bull team boss says he hopes for a drag race between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen to the first corner, although it is not yet certain whether the Dutchman will receive a grid penalty for ignoring yellow flags in qualifying. The FIA will look into this in the hours leading up to the race.
However, anything can still happen in the race. “What will happen to the strategy? The long runs were not very long, we were mainly trying to get to know the car,” continues Horner. “So both Mercedes and us have made real long runs.”
Huge pressure on Pirreli . tires
Horner warns that tire pressures are huge on the Losail International Circuit. “What you can see is that there has never been so much energy on the Pirelli tires compared to the other circuits. They are under constant pressure, every time half a G or more during a lap.”
“That’s going to be a big factor in the tire limit on this track, the Red Bull team boss predicts. So it’s going to be fascinating to see how the different cars will perform in the different conditions here.”
Horner assures: “Max will go for it”
Horner is asked if Verstappen will take a more aggressive approach in Qatar. “No, Max is Max. He goes for it when he sees a gap, that’s what I can assure you. And you know, he’s been consistent throughout his career. I don’t foresee it going to be any different.”
“I don’t see any change in that. People may disagree, but I don’t think anything has changed.” The Qatar Grand Prix will start at 3:00 PM, Lewis Hamilton will start from pole. Whether Verstappen will start next to his title rival, or whether he will receive a grid penalty, we will hear in the hours prior to the race.