Christian Horner, Red Bull Team Principal, admitted that it was extremely important for them to outscore Mercedes on a difficult weekend for them.
After winning the Monaco GP, Max Verstappen took the lead of the drivers’ championship, and thanks to the great work of Sergio Perez, who finished in P4, Red Bull is now first in the constructor championship.
“It was important to take our chances here,” said Horner. “Mercedes had a rare off day, and it was important to convert that. So as a team, we’ve done that.
“We leave here leading both championships for the first time in the hybrid era, so that’s encouraging. We know nobody’s getting carried away, there’s still a long way to go in this championship, [but] to be as close as we are, at this stage, is very encouraging.”
Verstappen was disappointed after what happened in qualifying when Charles Leclerc crashed and brought out the red flag, but today the Dutchman started on pole position since an issue prevented Charles to start in P1.
“Max was disappointed yesterday,” said Horner, “we didn’t get to see what that lap could have delivered. But he dealt with his frustration well and came out today, and when the opportunity presented itself, he took it with both hands.
“Also today Checo drove a very, very strong race. So a great performance from him as well.”
Horner finally said that Leclerc’s misfortune helped Red Bull, but Max was perfect the whole race.
“Max benefited from, obviously, Charles’ misfortune so it’s bad luck for them today,” said Horner. “But Max took control of the race from the start and controlled the whole afternoon. He was quick when he needed to be, was looking after his tires very well, and [did] a phenomenal performance.”