Red Bull’s Christian Horner: “It was a real disappointment to lose Daniel early”

Red Bull Racing - Russian Grand Prix. Credit: Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner says the squad always knew the Sochi Autodrom would not be a strong track for them, but was disappointed they were only able to get one driver home to see the chequered flag.

Daniel Ricciardo was forced to retire from the Russian Grand Prix after just five laps, with a right rear brake issue, which the team were unable to get to the bottom of during the race.

The problem was similar to that encountered by team-mate Max Verstappen during the Bahrain Grand Prix, though not the same, and will be investigated further prior to the next round in Spain.

“It was a real disappointment to lose Daniel early in the race with a right rear brake issue, straight after the safety car restart.

“We need to understand exactly what the cause of failure was; the outcome was similar to that which happened with Max in Bahrain but it looks like a different issue, so that needs thorough exploration.”

Verstappen had better luck than the Australian, managing to claim a solid fifth place, but was still some way off the pace of the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team and Scuderia Ferrari drivers, finishing twenty-four seconds down the road from fourth placed Lewis Hamilton.

“Max drove a strong race today, he had a good start but then he was only racing himself in no man’s land; putting a significant gap to the cars behind but not being able to keep up with the cars ahead.”

Red Bull still have plenty of work to do if they are to catch the top two teams, both of whom have edged clear of the Milton Keynes based squad this season. Barcelona will bring some big updates, but there is no guarantee they will be enough to put Red Bull on a more level playing field.

“So, at a circuit that we know doesn’t play to our strengths at least we got to our optimum with Max and hopefully in Barcelona we can start making some progress.”