Christian Horner has replied to Toto Wolff’s comments that the Red Bull RB19 is making its competitors look like ‘F2 cars’.
Following on from Max Verstappen’s dominant win at the Hungarian Grand Prix – the Dutch driver’s 34 second advantage the largest winning margin in almost two years – it led Mercedes’ boss Toto Wolff to class Formula 1 as almost a two-tier series at the moment.
Speaking about Mercedes’ race, with Lewis Hamilton securing fourth after starting from pole, Wolfff had said: “In terms of data you see it was quick, quick in terms of the rest of the world – and in the F2 car, it was quick. The F1 car won by 30 seconds.”
Christian Horner: Red Bull are all about the details
Asked about what he thought of Wolff’s comments as he spoke to media following his team’s record-breaking 12th consecutive F1 race victory, Christian Horner said the team’s philosophy has been to focus on every single area in which time can be gained.
“I think, at the moment, that is just the way that the team is working, it’s all about the details,” he said.
“I think we’re leaving no stone unturned at the moment. The strategy was strong, the pitstop today was 1.9 seconds that the guys put in for Checo [Perez], and very quick stops again for Max.
“You’re seeing a whole team just operating at such a high level. There’s no silver bullet in Formula 1 and I think it’s always a combination of factors that have to come together to achieve these kind of results.”
As for what Red Bull’s weaknesses are, Horner identified an area that had been an Achilles’ Heel – only for Verstappen to go and prove him wrong in Sunday’s race.
“It’s always the fine margins, I think we’ve had some variable starts this year,” Horner said.
“Thankfully, we got a good one when it mattered, from the dirty side of the grid.
“Max has been putting a lot of focus, working with the engineers on that, working with the guys at RBPT and Honda and they delivered a great one today.”
Having narrowly missed out on pole position to Lewis Hamilton as Verstappen hadn’t enjoyed the handling of his RB19 over a single lap on Saturday, Horner admitted that the team’s focus has been largely focused on race performance.
“I think it’s a trait that’s been there this year that we perhaps have focused more on the race than on quali,” he said.
“You’ve seen that… whether it’s Silverstone where it was very, very tight with the McLaren for the pole. Monaco, another slow-speed circuit, only a truly outstanding lap from Max really got us that pole that day.
“But the race pace on the Sunday has been very strong. That’s where obviously the points are, and that’s where we focused on.”
Red Bull break McLaren’s 1988 Grand Prix record
Having set a new record for consecutive Grand Prix victories – the previous record having stood for 35 years as Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost swept all before them in McLaren’s dominant 1988 season – Horner didn’t want to think about the possibility of winning every single race in the season.
“We achieved history today, which is something very special for the whole team to achieve the record of 12 consecutive Grand Prix victories to break the record from 1988, I remember watching Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost and the great McLaren team at the time led by Ron Dennis,” he said.
“To think that it’s taken 35 years, and we’re a team that have managed to break that, particularly with the quality of the opposition that we’re racing against – it is a phenomenal achievement and one that the whole team can be just immensely proud of.
“How long can we keep this winning run going? Who knows? We’ve got another challenge next weekend, the sprint race, variable conditions of Spa, anything can happen. So really, we’re just taking it pretty much one event at a time.”