Red Bull’s Christian Horner: “The front row was potentially achievable today”

Max Verstappen will start fourth in Australia
Credit: Charles Coates/Getty Images

Christian Horner felt Max Verstappen could and should have taken a front row grid slot for the Australian Grand Prix but for a mistake at turn thirteen, with the Dutchman ultimately missing out by just 0.051 seconds on Saturday.

Verstappen will start fourth on the grid and Daniel Ricciardo eighth on Sunday, with the latter having taken a three-place grid penalty for a red flag offence during practice on Friday, meaning he dropped behind the two Haas F1 Team drivers and Nico Hülkenberg when the penalty was applied.

Both drivers will start on the Supersoft tyre on race day and Horner, the team principal of Aston Martin Red Bull Racing, feels this will give them more options when it comes to strategy as they bid to start the season on the front foot with a strong result.

“After the rain this morning we had a dry Qualifying, and it was certainly very tight between ourselves and the Ferraris,” said Horner. “Unfortunately Max on his last lap made a small mistake at turn 13 that cost him a couple of tenths otherwise the front row was potentially achievable today.

“Daniel also did not have a perfect Q3, finishing in P5 and unfortunately with the penalty he incurred yesterday will be starting in P8. We’ve elected to start on a different tyre strategy to our competitors and hopefully that will provide different options for tomorrow.”