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Christian Horner

Horner: Ferrari only did 'half the job' in late Abu Dhabi gamble

The Red Bull boss referenced a famous Sergio Perez defensive job as Charles Leclerc failed to achieve his goal of claiming second in the Constructors' for Ferrari.

Horner Vasseur Las Vegas
To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Ferrari only did "half the job" in Charles Leclerc's last-ditch attempt to snatch second in the Constructors' from Mercedes, reckons Red Bull's Christian Horner.

In the closing stages, Leclerc held second place, with Perez running third and Mercedes' George Russell in fourth, but Perez was carrying a five-second time penalty for contact with Lando Norris.

With Lewis Hamilton scoring two points for ninth and Carlos Sainz out of the points, Leclerc let Perez past for second in an attempt to ensure the Red Bull finished ahead of the Mercedes by allowing Perez to pull out the five seconds, and then finish third behind Leclerc.

Had the finishing order been Leclerc-Perez-Russell and Hamilton in ninth, Ferrari would have scored 18 points, with Mercedes 14, which would have wiped out the four point deficit the Scuderia held.

On countback, thanks to Sainz's Singapore win, Ferrari would have finished ahead, but in the end, Mercedes finished three points ahead of Ferrari - with Horner believing Leclerc only did half a job in trying to hold Russell up.

Horner: Ferrari's mistake

"It was the logical thing to do," Horner explained of Leclerc's late attempt to media including RacingNews365.

"From Ferrari's position, they only did half the job because they let Checo through, and as Checo demonstrated in that section of the circuit [Sector 3], you can hold up quite a bit of time there.

"Charles needed to hold George off a little more to get that extra, but we've just got a differet neighbour [in the pit-lane] next year."

As for Red Bull's race, Horner explained how a one-stop was the intended strategy before a switch to a two.

"We were planning on doing a one-stop, and then we deviated to a two because we saw the degradation on the Medium was a little more than we liked," Horner said.

"We could have done it with Max on a one-stop because he had the pace and ability to manage the tyres, but Checo looked like he was going to run out of tyres towards the end.

"That's why we put both cars on a two-stop, and it is a great shame, because Checo should have been on the podium."

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