Christian Horner was delighted to see Red Bull Racing claim their first victory in the United States since 2013 on Sunday as Max Verstappen took his eighth victory of the year ahead of title rival Lewis Hamilton at the Circuit of the Americas.
After losing the lead at the start to Hamilton, Verstappen and Red Bull made aggressive strategy calls to get ahead of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team driver, before holding onto the position in the closing laps despite the Briton having better performance from his tyres.
Horner, the Team Principal at Red Bull, says the team opted to get track position through the pit stops, a decision that ultimately paid dividends as Verstappen held on to win by just 1.333 seconds to extend his advantage in the Drivers’ Championship to twelve points.
“What an incredible victory and double podium for the Team!” said Horner. “It’s our first US GP win since 2013 and what a way to do it.
“At the beginning of the race we had really good pace on the mediums and Max was able to put pressure on Lewis, but we know that he is so strong at the end of the race and he went long which bought himself an advantage.
“So we went for track position and Max held on and managed the race superbly, especially his last stint on the hard tyre to have enough left to keep his lead at the end.”
Horner also praised Sergio Pérez in the second Red Bull after the Mexican took the final spot on the podium despite having a broken water bottle throughout the fifty-six lap race.
The Team Principal believes the Mexican is continuing to grow in confidence behind the wheel of the RB16B, and his grit and determination was rewarded with a second consecutive top three finish.
“It was a tough race for Checo with no drinks system, but again the way he managed the race was fantastic and you can see him growing in confidence with his second podium in consecutive races,” Horner added.
“He produced a phenomenal drive and with his home race coming up he’s finding his form, which is crucial for us at this time of year.”
With just five races to go, Horner says the battle between Red Bull and Mercedes is likely to fluctuate as some of the tracks will suit them and some their rivals.
“It’s five to go now, and we know that there are a couple of races where Mercedes will have the edge and a couple where we will be strong, so the rest of the season is going to be really tight,” said Horner.