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Christian Horner

Horner delighted as Red Bull prove doubters wrong with Imola gamble

Christian Horner expressed his satisfaction after Red Bull's decision to bring updates to Imola paid off, despite doubts heading into the weekend.

Verstappen Imola
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Christian Horner has praised his Red Bull team for bouncing back from a disappointing Australian Grand Prix to score maximum points at Imola.

With the Emilia Romagna weekend using the Sprint format, Red Bull almost scored maximum points across both races, with Sergio Perez's third-place finish in the Sprint being the only point missed as Ferrari's Charles Leclerc claimed second.

The RB18 looked the convincingly quicker package throughout the weekend, with Horner explaining the decision to bring some small updates to the car had paid off.

"It was an interesting race," the Red Bull boss told Sky Sports F1.

"It was quite a stressful race on the pit wall because of the changing conditions, and there's a lot that can go wrong in those situations, but I thought both Max and Checo [Perez] did an unbelievable job today."

Red Bull bring updates to the RB18

With just 60 minutes of track time available ahead of parc ferme conditions being implemented from the start of Friday qualifying, Horner said Red Bull had enough confidence in their updates to tack them onto the car.

These included a double splitter on the underside of the car, as well as some significant weight reduction across the chassis.

"We attacked the weekend, we brought little upgrades," Horner explained.

"A lot of people said you shouldn't do that with only one practice session. [But] we believed in ourselves, and it paid off.

"I think we were unlucky in Australia a couple of weeks ago, but we came within one point of a maximum score here this weekend. It's a great fightback by the team."

A well-executed race from Red Bull

With Red Bull taking a convincing 1-2, their first since the 2016 Malaysian Grand Prix, Horner pointed out that the team had performed to the best of their abilities across every possible facet of the race.

"Both guys made great starts," he commented.

"That left-hand side of the grid, if anything, looked advantageous to the right-hand side, so 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 with Checo but, other than that, he had Charles under control, so [it was] just a wonderful team performance."

Despite a late attempt from Ferrari to put pressure on Red Bull with a switch to the Soft tyre, Horner believed his team had the situation well under control.

"I think they were struggling with their front-right tyre," he said.

"I think it was opening up and, as we saw yesterday, they needed to pit, so we then had the buffer to be able to cover. First with Checo, then with Max – the guys smashed out incredible stops today. I think it might have gone quicker than what we've already achieved.

"All-round, not only trackside but back in Milton Keynes, back in the factory, [it's been] a wonderful, wonderful team performance."

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F1 2022 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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