Christian Horner says the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing team are ‘hopeful’ they can play a part in the Spanish Grand Prix, having qualified fifth and sixth.
Red Bull hadn’t looked to be challenging for pole in any free practice sessions, only managing second in free practice two, and this continued in qualifying. Drivers Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo were almost seven-tenths of a second away from pole-man Lewis Hamilton, with Verstappen setting a time over two tenths slower than that of fourth-placed Kimi Räikkönen.
Whilst such a considerable gap would usually be cause for concern, Horner says it’s largely where the team expected to qualify – though Verstappen could have made up an extra place were it not for a mistake.
“To qualify fifth and sixth for the Spanish Grand Prix is about where we expected to be,” said Horner. “We tried a different strategy across the two cars at the end of Q3, but there’s just not much between the soft and the supersoft tyre. Max got a little ambitious into turn one on his final lap so never had the opportunity to improve, it is possible he could have got Kimi, but that would have been the maximum today.”
Commenting on his hopes for the race, Horner said the team’s long runs give them hope that they can play a part in the race.
“With the indications from our long runs on Friday we are hopeful we can play a part in challenging Ferrari and Mercedes and it could be an interesting race,” said the team principal.