Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner has clarified that recent technical clampdowns by the FIA were not behind his squad’s performance drop in Singapore.
The reigning World Champions were unable to advance into Q3 during qualifying and although it showed strong race pace, it failed finish on the podium.
It marked the first time this year that Red Bull did not win a race, with Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz coming out on top.
Ahead of the race weekend, there was much talk over the FIA’s technical directive (TD) clarifications regarding flexible car parts, namely to do with wings and the floor.
Red Bull’s drop into the F1 pack occurring on the same weekend that the FIA’s TDs came into play raised questions over whether the interventions put the team on the back foot.
But Horner told media including RacingNews365 that Red Bull made “zero” changes to its car for the race weekend.
“It's all engineering stuff,” he added. “There are no silver bullets in this business.
“I know all of you would love to blame the TD, but unfortunately we can't even blame that, because it's not changed a single component on our car.
“Circuit characteristics are different here, and I think that we haven’t optimised the car in the right window to extract the most of the lap.”
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Horner coy ahead of Japanese GP
Red Bull is expected to return to form this weekend in Japan, the scene of Max Verstappen’s championship triumph last year.
However, Horner is reserved over predicting that Red Bull will easily eliminate the competition at the Suzuka Circuit.
“Let’s see if it [Red Bulls’s struggles] is circuit-specific,” he said.
“I mean, if Ferrari are first and second in Japan next weekend then we'll see if there's a significant jump.
“But we've seen form move around so much this year, the one consistent was ourselves.
“This weekend, we were the one that found ourselves slightly out of shape.”