Christian Horner felt Red Bull Racing failed to get their Pirelli tyres into the optimum window throughout the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend, which resulted in Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly finishing fourth and eighth respectively.
Horner, the Team Principal of the Milton Keynes-based team, admitted that the struggles with the tyres started in free practice and ran through all the way to race day, although Verstappen seemed to be able to get around the problems more than his team-mate, who gained two places in the final laps thanks to the retirements of both Nico Hülkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo.
“It was a tough race this evening in Bahrain in extremely windy conditions,” said Horner. “We seem to have struggled to get the tyres to work at their optimum all weekend and we experienced the same challenge during the race today.”
Horner believes the late race safety car, caused when Hülkenberg and Ricciardo both retired on lap fifty-four with mechanical issues, denied both Verstappen and Gasly the opportunity to gain places.
With Charles Leclerc’s ailing Scuderia Ferrari in the Dutchman’s eyeline, had the race gone all the way to the chequered flag, the Dutchman would have continued his run, which had started at the Japanese Grand Prix in 2018.
“Nonetheless, Max made a good recovery at the first corner and raced very hard, but we just didn’t have the pace to go with Mercedes or Ferrari,” said Horner. “He was unfortunate to miss out on what would have been an opportunistic podium following Charles Leclerc’s bad luck but hopefully there will be more podiums to come soon.
“Pierre drove a solid race to score his first points for the Team, finishing eighth, and making good progress through the pack. He displayed his race craft with a couple of bold overtaking moves, which will be good for his confidence, but the Safety Car at the end prevented him from progressing further as he was rapidly closing in on the cars ahead.”