Red Bull deny being ‘handed this championship’ by Ferrari

Michelle Foster
Max Verstappen celebrates as Charles Leclerc watches. Miami May 2022

Christian Horner went for deflection when asked if Red Bull were being “handed this championship” by Ferrari’s mistakes.

Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix was the perfect opportunity for Ferrari to pull a few points back on Red Bull and Max Verstappen, the reigning World Champion starting down in 10th place after losing power in qualifying.

It should have been a Ferrari 1-2, or at the very least a double podium, only the Scuderia once again got it all wrong.

Ferrari botched Charles Leclerc’s strategy, their decision to pit him from the lead for hard tyres baffling everyone in the paddock.

That decision meant instead of taking the win, he was passed by Verstappen, who it must be said put in a storming drive, and, as he continued to fall, Ferrari pitted him again for soft tyres but he wasn’t able to recover.

Verstappen took the win, and Leclerc was a disappointing P6.

The result means the Red Bull driver is up to an 80-point advantage in the Drivers’ Championship while Red Bull are almost 100 ahead of Ferrari in the Constructors’.

It led to Sky Sports asking Horner if Red Bull are ‘being handed this championship?’

He deflected with a joking: “Are we live?”

The team boss went onto say: “I can only focus on our performance. We did a great job today. We switched our strategy.”

The same question was put to Verstappen during the post-race press conference.

He too says he and Red Bull deserve credit for their results, the driver having scored his eighth win of this season in Hungary.

“I think everyone always tries to do their best and sometimes that’s of course a bit harder to achieve,” he said. “But yeah, I find that difficult to comment on because nobody does things on purpose and everyone always wants of course to try and get the best result out of it.

“And from my side as well, I always try to get the best result out of it and the team as well. Sometimes you do that better than other weekends.

“And we also dropped quite a few points as well from our side by having issues but yeah, I find that difficult to say that they helped me because at the end of the day you always have to perform yourself and as a team.”