Red Bull’s Horner explains Baku struggles

Date published: June 21 2016

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has revealed the reasons behind the team’s problems in Baku.

Horner came clean after drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen finished in seventh and eighth position after making two pit stops, when other teams only made one.

He said the stops were necessary after Red Bull decided to run with very low downforce, a strategy that has worked well for the team in past races.

In Baku, however, problems with their supersoft tires and later a brake issue contributed to a poor result.

“We’re on a very fine edge trimming the downforce out of the car,” said Horner. “The first few laps we turned the tire on very well. Daniel said, ‘I was easily able to stay with Nico, I was cruising, and then suddenly ‘bang,’ the rear tires get into a lot of trouble.’

“You find that your window by doing that is very narrow, I think today’s temperature, trimming the downforce out of the car, perhaps the car then sliding a little too much has caused the rear graining.

“As soon as you get into that you’re in a world of pain. I think that the configuration that we’ve ended up running the car in in order to be sensible on the straight we’ve put ourselves in a very narrow window.”

The Red Bull boss also admitted that the team could struggle next month at its home race in Spielberg.

“Austria is going to be a challenge for us for sure,” he said. “I think it’s in the top three power sensitive circuits. Maybe there will be a chicane on the straight this year. It’s getting through Austria with damage limitation.”