Win seemed possible for Red Bull ‘when Ferrari pitted for hards’ RaceFans

Win seemed possible for Red Bull 'when Ferrari pitted for hards' RaceFans

Max Verstappen’s drive to win the Hungarian Grand Prix is ​​one of his best wins in Formula 1, says Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.

Horner said Verstappen’s win was “up there” with his best. He started in 10th place, immediately ahead of Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas. Nevertheless, Horner said Verstappen’s breakaway was “the first time I saw him cautiously.”

“He got a little pinched in the middle of the pack,” Horner explained. “But after that his speed, the way he handled the problems he had, was phenomenal.”

Red Bull realized before the race started that the hard tires would not work in the race because the conditions were cooler than expected.

“We would start the race on the hard tire because statistically that seemed like our best race,” said Horner. “But the drivers struggled to generate temperature in the soft tire on the way to the grid and so it felt ridiculous to start the race on a hard tyre, especially with what [wet] around again.

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“So we converted both drivers on the grid to the soft tyre, which really pushed us to a two-stop, but we made it work for them and it played out beautifully.”

By being able to pass cars up front in the first stint, Verstappen and teammate Sergio Perez got into the mix between the front-runners, Horner said.

“If you look at last year’s race, we expected that the first 25% would probably be behind a whole bunch of cars. But the weather also made a difference in tire strategy, so we had a grip advantage then that we could use early against those cars as well. The two got through the pack pretty quickly and it didn’t take long before we had Ferrari and Mercedes in sight.”

The race lurched towards Red Bull as Ferrari pitted Leclerc for a second stop in response to Verstappen’s, Horner said. He did not expect their rivals to react to the arrival of Verstappen.

“It felt that Ferrari had a very different strategy at the time,” he said. “They clearly looked at the position of the bank.

But once they let Charles into the pits and pulled out a set of hard tires, it really felt like a win was possible.”

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2022 Hungarian Grand Prix

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