Christian Horner feels good teamwork within Red Bull Racing was rewarded by a fourth and sixth place result during last weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix, with Max Verstappen excelling once more to beat Scuderia Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc home.
Verstappen almost managed to defeat the second Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel, passing him briefly in a bold overtake at the end of the back straight only for the German to get him back on the exit of the turn. Unfortunately, the Ferrari then was able to comfortably stay ahead of the Dutchman until the chequered flag.
However, Horner, the team principal at Red Bull, praised Verstappen and the strategists for their performance at the Shanghai International Circuit that enabled him to split the Ferrari’s for a second consecutive race weekend and earn him another twelve points towards the championship.
“P4 and P6 represents good teamwork,” said Horner. “A strong strategy and being the first to adopt the two stop with Max allowed us to beat Charles Leclerc.
“Max drove the wheels off the car all afternoon and although he fought hard to pass Vettel and challenge for a podium, we just didn’t quite have the pace to get ahead of him.”
For the first time in 2019, the second Red Bull of Pierre Gasly qualified and finished inside the top six, with Horner pleased to see the Frenchman continue to adapt to life in a top team.
After missing out on points in Australia and finishing eighth in Bahrain, Gasly qualified sixth in China before finishing in the same position, while an additional point came his way thanks to a late pit stop for the soft Pirelli tyres in a bid to set fastest lap, a feat he achieved on the penultimate lap.
“It is great to see Pierre continuing to settle into our car and he had another solid race, finishing sixth and claiming fastest lap,” continued Horner.
“He took one point away from Ferrari and gaining that additional point for fastest lap was a real positive for him, which I’m sure he will take confidence from.”