Horner explains Red Bull’s bad day at the office

Jamie Woodhouse
Red Bull principal Christian Horner looking sad. Hungary, July 2022.

Red Bull principal Christian Horner looking sad in a press conference. Hungary, July 2022.

Red Bull principal Christian Horner reeled off the issues that made qualifying day in Hungary one to forget for his team.

Heading into the weekend, Red Bull had talked up rivals Ferrari, expecting to face a stern test if they were to challenge the Scuderia.

However, lining up P10 and P11 in Hungary was certainly not what Red Bull had in mind.

Sergio Perez would drop out in Q2, Horner explaining that traffic had hampered the Mexican racer, while Max Verstappen then encountered a loss of power in Q3 which leaves him P10 on the grid.

Reflecting on qualifying with Sky Sports F1, Horner said: “Frustrating, to lose Checo in Q2, he got a bit of traffic at Turn 2.

“And then actually, Max felt a lot more comfortable with the balance of the car today and I think we were in with a shot of the pole, but a lock-up on the first run into Turn 2 immediately put us on the backfoot.

“But, still, we felt confident that we could have a crack at it and unfortunately, a power unit related issue [for Max] on his out-lap, we’re obviously trying to reset sensors and so on to try and cure it and clear it, but unfortunately, it wasn’t to be.

“So, no representative time for Max in Q3, so tenth and eleventh on the grid, so it’s going to be a busy race tomorrow, but congrats to George Russell on his first pole, it looked a pretty tidy lap.”

Asked to clarify that Verstappen was on to make the front row, Horner explained that P4 was looking like the worst-case scenario for Verstappen before the power unit problem. At the very least, he felt the front row was possible.

But nonetheless, Horner prefers that these issues came on Saturday as they now look to “give it everything” in the race in a bid to undo the damage.

Verstappen takes a 63-point lead over Charles Leclerc into the race, who starts from P3, while Red Bull top the Constructors’ Championship with a buffer of 82 points over Ferrari.

Asked if the front row was calling for Verstappen, Horner replied: “Well, the wind got a little gusty in Q3, look, I don’t know, on theoreticals, I think Max was at the very least fourth and the track was improving.

“I think we could have had a shot at the very least at the front row today. So, at least it’s happened today, not tomorrow. So, we’ll race hard from there and give it everything.”