Horner: Drivers ‘explicitly told’ towing tactics

Date published: June 30 2018

Red Bull boss Christian Horner has tried to clear up the Red Bull qualifying policy after Daniel Ricciardo said it was “not fair” in Austria.

The Australian believes that his team-mate, Max Verstappen, got some extra help by picking up the slipstream at Spielberg on Saturday afternoon.

However, Horner has said that this is the way that it has always worked at the team, and that it swaps from race to race.

“We have a very simple policy here that has operated for the last seven years which is that we alternate from weekend to weekend who drives out of the garage first,” Horner said.  “

It is the only way to keep it as scrupulously fair from circuit to circuit, so this weekend was Daniel’s time to drive out of the garage first ahead of Max.”

The Red Bull team boss can see where his drivers are coming from, but went on to clarify the situation after suggesting that P5 was as good as it could get for the team at their home race.

“Obviously he felt that Max might be benefitting from that so that is why he obviously started to back up a bit but I think that P5 and P7 is probably as much as we could do today and hopefully we can have better pace tomorrow,” Horner continued.

“The drivers know explicitly every weekend it alternates. So last weekend, Max drove out first and Daniel would have followed him.

“Next weekend it will be the other way round and even in the debrief from weekend to weekend, its them who talks first so it is the way to keep it as scrupulously fair as we can.

“They know the situation, so there is nothing to explain.”

Following Sebastian Vettel’s three-place grid penalty, Verstappen has now moved up to P4 on Sunday’s grid.

Vettel drops to P6 with Ricciardo staying in P7.