Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner has admitted that after the upgrades Mercedes introduced for the British GP, they have gained speed on the straights, expressing that he is wary of Sunday’s race.
Sprint Qualifying saw teams on a lower fuel load and race day is expected to witness hotter track temperatures, two factors that are expected to influence Sunday’s race. Despite this, Horner believes Red Bull to be slightly better off than Mercedes.
“They’ve started with a much lower fuel load so putting more energy into the tires as well,” Horner explained while talking about today’s performance in the Sprint Qualifying.
“They’ll be starting fat and heavy tomorrow then obviously the tire actually gets a bit of an easier workout in the corners, to begin within the race so it’s gonna be interesting, it’ll be even hotter tomorrow, and we’ll see what that effect has on things but fantastic to be starting from pole position we’ve achieved in a different way today, great to get that first step of victory.”
Verstappen put on a masterclass today, taking the lead early on and resisting multiple challenges from nearest rival Lewis Hamilton, especially down at Wellington straight, earning pole position. While Horner admitted Mercedes is “mighty” down the straights, it is at the end of the day, a different approach to setting a lap time.
“I think we were probably slightly better off than Lewis. We’re quicker in the corners, they’re quicker down the straights so it’s just a different way of achieving the lap time but they are mighty in a straight line,” Horner admitted.
“[Hamilton had] A great launch and we knew that the Mercedes, in particular, were particularly strong in that first sector so staying ahead down the first main straight was going to be incredibly important to us.”