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F1 | Austrian GP | Horner: Tyre degradation "significantly worse" than Ferrari's

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner reflects on a difficult Sunday for the team, but remains positive, highlighting the loss to Ferrari and Charles Leclerc in both championships is relatively small

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F1 | Austrian GP | Horner: Tyre degradation "significantly worse" than Ferrari's
Fuente imagen: @redbullracing on twitter

Following a near perfect Sprint from Verstappen on Saturday of the Austrian Grand Prix, Red Bull suffered a blow to their championship position with the team not only losing Sergio Perez after an early collision with Mercedes’ George Russell, but also failing to secure the victory as Verstappen was plagued by tyre degradation.

Discussing the teams less than ideal Grand Prix, Christian Horner admits the team is unsure what caused them to suffer such extreme degradation, as the Red Bull man claims his team's degradation was on par with that of Ferrari on Saturday.

“Yesterday our degradation, when you look at the sprint race, we pushed a bit harder at the beginning and paid a little bit at the end,” he said. “Over the whole stint [degradation] was, in our analysis, identical to Ferrari

“The only thing that’s changed overnight is the rain, the temperatures slightly and of course the fuel load. We just need to understand why in that first stint our deg was significantly worse than Charles [Leclerc] and Carlos [Sainz].”

Horner continued to elaborate on Red Bull’s race strategy, conceding that Ferrari had enough pace to beat them despite their best efforts on strategy.

“I think once we got ourselves into that situation, we converted immediately to a two stop. They had sufficient pace that they were able then to cover with a two stop. The VSC brought us back into play at the end of the race but unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be today.”

The other blow to Red Bull’s race was Perez’s “frustrating” retirement, following an opening lap collision with Russell when the Red Bull driver attempted a move around the outside of the Mercedes at turn 4.

Discussing the incident, Horner admits a move around the outside at turn 4 requires a lot of trust in the other driver to leave an adequate amount of space, something the stewards deemed Russell did not do in this case.
“It’s obviously always frustrating. Unfortunately our track record of passing Mercedes around the outside of turn 4 hasn’t been particularly stellar,” Horner joked. 

“Unfortunately the amount of damage that was done was pretty significant. It was a lot of floor damage and at that point he would have probably finished maybe even two laps down, so it just didn’t make sense to put unnecessary mileage on the car.

“[Perez] had such a good run out of turn three. Racing drivers they’ve got to go for it, but on the outside of turn 4 you rely very heavily on the guy on the inside playing ball and giving you space.”

Although he admits Ferrari were the faster team in Austria due to his own teams degradation issues, Horner firmly believes Perez would have stood on the podium had he not retired from the race.

In Red Bull’s favour during the Grand Prix however, was Carlos Sainz’s late stage retirement from the race with a dramatic engine failure, essentially cancelling out the loss of Perez as the Spaniard also scored no points for Ferrari

An ever cautious Horner points to the fact the championship has only now passed the halfway point quizzed on the team’s championship hopes. He continued to note Verstappen only lost 5 points to Leclerc over the weekend, with the team’s constructors championship losses mitigated by Sainz’s retirement.

“We’re only just at the halfway point of the championship, and things swing around quite a lot. There’s still an awfully long way to go. It’s frustrating from a constructors position and Ferrari obviously had their own issue so actually I would say this weekend was sort of damage limitation. 

“[We] managed to get the pole, get the sprint victory. I think Max [Verstappen] has only lost 5 points to Charles [Leclerc] in the drivers’ [championship] and the damage has been relatively contained in the constructors’ [championship].

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