Christian Horner admitted it was a frustrating Sunday at Spa-Francorchamps for everyone after the Belgian Grand Prix was restricted to just a handful of laps behind the safety car before the race was called.
Max Verstappen took his sixteenth career victory on Sunday, but his win came down to the fact he took pole position on Saturday afternoon. Sergio Pérez failed to score points after crashing on the way to the initial grid.
Horner, the Team Principal at Red Bull, said conditions were never good enough for racing to take place, and he praised everyone at FIA and Liberty Media for giving them every opportunity to race by delaying the start amid non-stop rain.
“It’s frustrating for the teams, drivers and especially the fans that we could not race today, but unfortunately the conditions meant that no matter how long we waited it was not safe to do so,” said Horner.
“Everybody did their best to try and put a race on and credit must go to the FIA and Liberty who did everything within their power and waited until it became impossible.
“We are all feeling a little cold and wet but huge credit has to go to the fans who continued to pack the grandstands today. We truly appreciate the loyalty and I’m just sorry that we couldn’t deliver the track action they came for, but hopefully everyone will tune in for next weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix so we can provide a great weekend of racing.”
Half points were awarded on Sunday, with Verstappen’s twelfth and a half-points bringing him to within three points of Lewis Hamilton’s lead at the top of the Drivers’ Championship, and Horner says the points he earned were good for Red Bull too as they edged closer to the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team in the Constructors’ Championship.
Horner was also full of praise for his mechanics who worked hard and quickly to repair the damaged Red Bull of Pérez to get him out on track for the laps behind the safety car. Mechanics from both sides of the garage worked together to repair the damage caused by the Mexican’s trip into the barriers at Les Combes, but ultimately, the race not going green meant he ended up at the back of the pack.
“Ultimately, Max’s great work in very difficult qualifying conditions yesterday earned him the win and the maximum half points on offer which importantly enabled us to close the gap in both championships,” he said.
“Following Checo’s unfortunate trip into the barrier on the initial out lap it was incredible to see our mechanics in action under pressure once again, fixing his car in the time they did, giving him every opportunity to race should we have been able to get out from behind the Safety Car.
“It was a massive job as both sides of the suspension and the steering rack were damaged but it was very rewarding to see the teamwork with both sides of the garage working together to get it fixed.”