Following a second retirement in three races for Max Verstappen at the Australian Grand Prix, Red Bull bounced back in style at the Emilia Romagna GP to secure their first one-two in six years as Verstappen led home Perez to cut the gap in both championships.
Speaking post-race, Horner praised his drivers for their performance and spoke about the tension on the pit wall when conditions are constantly changing.
“It was an interesting race; it was quite a stressful race on the pit wall because of the changing conditions. There’s a lot that can go wrong in those situations”, he told Sky Sports.
“But I thought both Max and Checo did an unbelievable job today.
“Both Max and Checo got a great start and then it was a matter of controlling the race; there was one trip over the grass for Checo but other than that he had Charles under control.
“Just a wonderful team performance.”
As well as Verstappen’s retirement at Albert Park, Red Bull struggled to get anywhere close to the pace of Charles Leclerc and Ferrari, with Checo a distant 2nd on that Sunday.
Fast forward two weeks and they scored a possible 58 out of a maximum of 59 points at Imola. It was a weekend where they introduced an upgrade and had the race pace over Ferrari.
“Yeah, absolutely,” said Horner when asked about how important it was to bounce back from Melbourne.
“We attacked the weekend and brought a little upgrade. A lot of people said you shouldn’t do that with only one practice session; we believed in ourselves and it paid off.
“We were unlucky in Australia a couple of weeks ago but we came within one point of a maximum score here this weekend. That’s a great fightback by the team.
“We’ve got to try and build on this momentum now; to get the pole position, win the [sprint] race yesterday, win today, a one-two finish – our first since 2016 – that’s a great result.”
Many people were surprised that Charles Leclerc pitted for soft tyres late in the race when running P3.
It ultimately backfired as he spun and lightly touched the barrier when trying to stay within the DRS of Perez who had covered off Ferrari’s stop.
Leclerc dropped to P9 as he needed a front wing change but recovered to 6th by the chequered flag.
Horner believes Ferrari had to pit due to the wear of the right front tyre on Leclerc's mediums.
“I think they were struggling with the front right tyre. I think it was opening up as we saw yesterday [in the sprint] and they needed to pit.
“We then had the buffer to be able to cover; first with Checo and then with Max.”
Grazie mille, Imola 🇮🇹 Wrapping up a very lovely Sunday for the Team 🏆🏆 pic.twitter.com/Gy2leUFqDH— Oracle Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) April 24, 2022