Horner left to ponder what could have been

Michelle Foster
Christian Horner and Max Verstappen react to RB16's first outing.

Christian Horner and Max Verstappen react to RB16's first outing.

Christian Horner says it was a “real shame” that Red Bull didn’t get the result in Mexico with Alexander Albon P5 to Max Verstappen’s sixth.

Although Verstappen claimed pole position for the Mexican GP, the Red Bull were slapped with a three-place grid penalty for ignoring the yellow flags for Valtteri Bottas’ Q3 crash.

He started fourth on the grid, tangling with Lewis Hamilton on the opening lap and falling to seventh.

He tried to recover, passing Bottas for a position, only to tag his rear tyre on the W10’s front wing.

The puncture dropped Verstappen to the very back of the grid.

He recovered to finish sixth.

“It’s a real shame,” said Horner.

“Losing out in the first couple of turns and then getting a puncture with Valtteri, you’re out of the race at that point.

“And to do almost the entire race on one set of tyres, Max did a very strong drive to come back to P6.”

But while Verstappen’s Sunday was spent in a recovery drive, it looked as one point as if Alexander Albon could challenge for his first F1 podium.

However, the Thai driver’s efforts were hampered by Carlos Sainz as he came out behind the McLaren after his first of two pit stops, costing him valuable tenths.

Horner reckons he may have been able to undercut Hamilton had that not happened.

The team boss added: “[Alex] lost a lot of time with a McLaren on his out-lap, otherwise he would have had an undercut on Lewis at that time, but his pace was pretty decent in the race.

“It’s frustrating, because we could have had a lot more out of today.”

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