While Christian Horner doubts Red Bull will have to take any more engine penalties, he hasn’t ruled it out.
Max Verstappen had a new power unit fitted at the Russian Grand Prix while his title rival Lewis Hamilton took a new ICE last time out in Turkey.
Both were handed grid penalties as a result, causing them to lose ground to the other in the standings in the respective races.
With the Dutchman possessing a new engine with just six rounds to go, he shouldn’t face the same problem again, but while Horner doubts it, he hasn’t ruled it out.
“I think in normal circumstances we should be able to do it with the penalty that we took in Sochi,” said the team principal.
“So yeah, that gives us three engines still alive in our pool. We are not down to just one engine. So it looks like, theoretically, we should be able to get to the end of the year.
“Never say never.”
𝐓𝐮𝐫𝐤𝐢𝐬𝐡 𝐃𝐞𝐥𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭 for our second double podium of the season 🏆🏆 pic.twitter.com/dzpgaz79Hc
— Red Bull Racing Honda (@redbullracing) October 10, 2021
Mercedes were comfortably the stronger of the two teams at Istanbul Park with them locking out the front row in qualifying and Valtteri Bottas cruising to victory on race-day.
The Red Bull meanwhile finished in P2 and P3, with Verstappen running a lonely race and Sergio Perez taking the final podium spot after earlier fighting off Hamilton, who came home in P5.
The result saw the German team increase their lead in the Constructors’ Championship but Verstappen returned to the top in the Driver’s, taking a lead of six points into the final six rounds.
All things considered, Horner is pleased with the outcome of the race in Turkey.
“To take the points we did in both the Drivers’ and Constructors’, the engineering team did a great job when we were a bit out of the window on Friday,” he added.
“Arguably it has been Mercedes strongest circuit we have seen so far this season so to have two cars on the podium and retake the lead in the drivers’ championship was a positive day for us.”
Next up on the calendar is the United States Grand Prix where Horner and co will expect to lose further ground to Mercedes given Hamilton’s record there, but they’ll feel confident of making up for that in Mexico a round later.
Bottas v Perez - Who is the better supporting act?
Valtteri Bottas and Sergio Perez will have a big say in both title fights, which begs the question: Who is the better number 2 driver?