After qualifying for the F1 Australian Grand Prix, Oracle Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner is satisfied. The Austrian team tried to overtake Ferrari by adjustments in the setting at Max Verstappen and a modified fuel strategy.
For Verstappen, the plan had almost succeeded, but due to a lock-up at the Dutchman, he had to settle for P2 behind Charles Leclerc.
Max Verstappen, Position: 2nd, 1:18.154 (Exercise 3 – P7, 1:19.809)
“The weekend so far has been a bit of a struggle, there’s a gap between Charles and me, but second place isn’t bad of course and I think there’s a lot more potential in the car than we’re showing at the moment. I didn’t really feel 100% in the car today, so we tried to change a few things in the setup, but it didn’t quite bring the improvements we hoped for and we’ll do our best tomorrow. I think we have a good race car and in racing conditions everything is stabilizing a little bit, so it’s more consistent. Let’s hope we can have a good race tomorrow.”
Sergio Perez, Position: 3rd, 1:18.240 (Exercise 3 – P3, 1:19.265)
“I think qualifying went well, especially Q2 and then there were a few red flags which meant we couldn’t experiment with the tyres. It’s always hard with strategy when you get red flags. We went for three laps and carried that fuel only to find out at the end that the double push didn’t work any better than just putting one lap. It wasn’t the right thing to do and it cost us a few tenths, but Charles put in a great lap, he put it all together and I didn’t. Hopefully tomorrow in the race we can be a lot closer, give them a hard time, have a strong race and enjoy it. I love this car, we all learn every time we drive these new cars and tomorrow in the race I want to make a big step.”
Christian Horner, Team Principal and CEO:
“That was a great performance by both our drivers. At certain points they both seemed to be able to steal pole, but Charles put in a great lap and it was just out of reach for us, but we’ll come back and try to beat them tomorrow. Max’ lock up cost him about three tenths and Checo had a small d-rate on his first lap and also had an extra tenth of fuel on him as he wanted to do three laps but we are still on the front row and P3, so we’ll take that. I still think with more fuel we will be in better shape, and with these DRS zones it could be a really interesting race.