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F1 | US GP | "Checo is on fire this weekend" says Horner after Red Bull secured Pole position and third place in qualifying at COTA

The Red Bull Team Principal spoke to the media after the best qualifying performance of the team in the US Grand Prix.

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F1 | US GP | "Checo is on fire this weekend" says Horner after Red Bull secured Pole position and third place in qualifying at COTA
Fuente imagen: redbullracing.com

After an exciting qualifying session that saw Max Verstappen taking his ninth Pole Position of the 2021 season by just over 0.209s over Lewis Hamilton and 0.224 on Sergio Pérez, who’s been having an impressive weekend so far, Red Bull’s Team Principal, Christian Horner, debriefed after the session to Sky Sports how the Mexican got his way up to third place on the grid to start Sunday’s race and an amazing lap that got Max Verstappen yet another Pole.

"Pretty much from the first session he's been pretty happy with the car. I thought that he was going to get his first pole position but then a little bit of rain at the end there... so they were the last on track. That might have cost him a little bit, but Max kept his head and delivered that lap time.”

“Yesterday, the set-up we arrived with at the track with was a little bit out. We just tuned the car in and managed to improve the traction.”

“We managed to improve the car over the bumps. The drivers’ confidence has grown and grown. We were debating at one point if the medium would be the best tyre for Q3.”

“We know that Checo races very well but qualifying has been his struggle this season. It’s the first time that we got two cars against one. The first time in the hybrid era that anyone other than Mercedes qualifies on pole [in Austin].”

Before the session was underway at the Circuit of the Americas, Red Bull worked on the #33’s car rear wing because, as Horner explained, a crack was found on Verstappen’s challenger but not on Pérez’s car.

“There's always something going on. There's never a stress-free session, but I don't know if Max hit something because there was a big crack [in the rear wing] and there was nothing on the other car or any of the other wings. So we’ll take a look at that tonight," Horner said.

“We definitely improved the car. It’s tough to follow here, so we want to lead into turn 1. I think it’s going to be a grandstand start at Turn 1."

“But at least we’ve got two guys starting at the front of the field.

“If we can get a clean Sector 1, you hope by the time you get to Turn 11 you’ve got that little bit of a gap, so that is going to be crucial.

Even though the Mexican driver showed his best qualifying form on the United States since the second race this season, when he started in 2nd place at the Emilia Romagna GP, Horner said Perez's role this Sunday in Austin is "to help his teammate”, and that “if Max can see the yellow helmet of Sergio in his mirrors, I think he would be a lot happier with that.”

"We are fighting for two championships, the driver’s and the constructors’, and this is an opportunity to take some points away for the constructors’ championship here."

“So, with Valtteri having to pay a penalty, we have to try to capitalize on that," Horner concluded.

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