Red Bull’s Christian Horner: “It was frustrating to lose Max at the start of the race”


Red Bull Racing - Singapore GP 2017. Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner says it was extremely annoying to have driver Max Verstappen taken out of the Singapore Grand Prix so early, through no fault of his own, when the squad had looked so strong throughout the weekend.

“It was enormously frustrating to lose Max at the start of the race, in an incident that quite clearly had nothing to do with him.

“Sebastian moving to the left, Kimi moving to the right sandwiched Max and there was nowhere for him to go.”

Although one driver was served a huge slice of bad luck on Sunday, Daniel Ricciardo’s second place made up for the disappointment, especially as the Australian had been suffering from a gearbox oil leak throughout the race.

At one stage of the grand prix, Horner believed that Ricciardo would also be forced into an early retirement to cap off a frustrating weekend for the Milton Keynes based squad, however the Australian’s gentle touch allowed him to see the chequered flag.

It was an impressive drive from the 28-year-old who was still able to hold off the advances of Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team driver Valtteri Bottas, though the issue made it too difficult for the 28-year-old to make any impact on race leader Lewis Hamilton.

“Then, after the re-start, Daniel started to lose an awful lot of gearbox oil, which created a lot of problems with oil pressure, and we were feeling that it was looking unlikely that Daniel would get to the end of the race.

“However he managed to nurse the gearbox of the car incredibly well for three-quarters of the grand prix, and though able to hold off any threat from behind from Valtteri, unfortunately he could not attack Lewis ahead.”

The result made it the third year in a row that Ricciardo has come home in second place at Singapore, and Horner was relieved to achieve such a brilliant finish after their early problems.

“So it has been another second place for us in Singapore, but a strong podium to take away considering how things were looking after the first 15 laps.”