Red Bull’s Christian Horner: “Our race took a bit of a knock from the start”

Max Verstappen - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner was happy with the way the 2016 Formula 1 Season concluded on Sunday, with Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo finishing fourth and fifth respectively at the Yas Marina Circuit.

Horner admitted that the team’s hopes of a strong race took a hit on the opening lap when Verstappen spun and Ricciardo locked up, leaving the former at the back of the field and the latter with a flat spot for the opening stint, although finishing fourth and fifth was a good recovery, particularly for the one-stopping Verstappen.

“Unfortunately our race took a bit of a knock from the start, firstly with Max when he spun round at the first turn dropping him to the back of the field,” said Horner. “Thereafter his recovery was quite phenomenal using the best of the Supersoft tyre to make a one-stop race feasible.

“He fought right to the end but he didn’t have enough left in his tyres to fend off the challenge of Sebastian Vettel who was on the fresher Supersoft, however it was a great result to finish P4.

“Daniel had quite a big lock up into the first turn which gave him a big flat spot during that first stint. Although he managed to undercut Kimi on the second stint, unfortunately he spent most of the afternoon tucked up under someone’s rear wing and that gave his tyres quite a hard time and P5 was probably about the maximum.”

Horner praised the team both at the Red Bull factory in Milton Keynes and the Renault factory in Viry, and felt finishing second in the Constructors’ Championship was a great effort for everyone involved.

“This race brings to a close a really exciting year,” said Horner. “It has been a great season for the team, we’ve worked tremendously hard and finishing second in the Constructors’ Championship with two victories has been an incredible achievement.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the team for their effort and commitment this season; to thank Red Bull and all of our partners who support us so well, and also to thank our engine partner and the hard-working team at Viry.”

Horner also took time to congratulate Nico Rosberg for claiming his maiden World Drivers’ Championship, especially after contending with Lewis Hamilton’s attempts to back the German into the chasing pack in Abu Dhabi.

“Congratulations to Nico Rosberg on becoming a very worthy world champion following an exciting race today in Abu Dhabi,” said Horner. “It always looked likely that Lewis was going to drive the slowest possible race should he be in the lead, and that’s exactly what happened.”