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Christian Horner

Horner gives his response to Ferrari's qualifying tactics

With Charles Leclerc taking pole position for the French Grand Prix after gaining a tow from teammate Carlos Sainz in qualifying, Red Bull boss Christian Horner has given his take on how Max Verstappen could have matched up without this.

Leclerc France
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Christian Horner thinks that Max Verstappen may have been able to cut the gap slightly to Charles Leclerc had the Monegasque not received a tow from teammate Carlos Sainz in qualifying for the French Grand Prix.

During the decisive Q3 runs, Ferrari instructed Sainz – who will start from the back of the grid due to engine-related penalties – to give Leclerc a tow, which helped Leclerc to fend off the challenge from Verstappen.

Verstappen's final time was 0.304 seconds off that of Leclerc, who will start from pole position with Verstappen alongside him on the front row.

How Red Bull matched up to Ferrari

Leclerc acknowledged afterwards that the battle with Red Bull would have been closer without Sainz's help, and Horner feels that Verstappen might have been slightly nearer, though admits that the Scuderia had the edge during the session.

"I think we might have been a tenth, maybe a tenth and a half closer but, I think just over that one lap, Ferrari had the advantage on us today," Horner told Sky Sports F1.

"We've got two very different concepts of attacking this race track this weekend. Ferrari are running a little bit more downforce, we're a bit more trimmed out, so it's all about tomorrow."

Verstappen and Perez ready for "two versus one" fight

With Sainz set to start from the back of the field, Verstappen and teammate Sergio Perez – who will line up in third – are set to outnumber the Ferraris at the front of the pack.

Horner admits that this could make things very interesting.

"To have both cars up there [is good]," the Red Bull boss said.

"We've got two versus one, which is always an interesting strategic dynamic."

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F1 2022 French Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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