Christian Horner admits that his Red Bull Racing team suffered from too much unreliability over the 2017 Formula 1 season, resulting in a season of “highs and lows”.
Red Bull suffered 13 retirements over the season, which stymied the team’s chances of challenging Ferrari for second in the constructors’ championship.
Horner was pleased with the team’s haul of three victories across the year – Max Verstappen‘s wins at Malaysia and Mexico adding to Daniel Ricciardo‘s victory at Baku – along with the team’s continued presence in the top three.
However, the Red Bull team principal also felt that the team ought to learn from its reliability issues throughout the year.
“It’s been a season of highs and lows for us,” Horner said.
“We would obviously have liked to have finished on a higher note but, looking back, the positives we take out of the year are the three race victories and the 13 podiums for the RB13 and, of course, an awful lot of lessons with too many retirements.
“2018 starts for the team tomorrow with the [end-of-season] test commencing the day after.”
Horner also recounted the performance of Red Bull in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, confirming that the team suspected a hydraulics issue with Ricciardo’s car, which resulted in the Australian’s retirement from the race.
The team had initially feared that Ricciardo had suffered a puncture and called him in to pit, but he pulled off the track shortly after rejoining the race with handling issues.
“Daniel reported a strange feeling in the steering in Turn 19 which was probably the start of his issues.
“He pitted immediately, and the boys did a great job to scramble in time to get him turned around without losing a position, but then what looks like a suspected hydraulic problem caused his retirement.
“Max continued to push Kimi [Raikkonen] throughout the grand prix but unfortunately on this circuit was unable to mount a challenge, finishing in fifth.”