Christian Horner believes that trying to fit in three qualifying runs in Q3 leads to a little bit too much time pressure, which possibly compromised Lewis Hamilton's efforts in Q3.
While most committed to two runs in Q3, Hamilton did three. This meant that he was on track by himself at the start of the session and was always slightly off-sequence with the other drivers in Q3. His final run saw him cutting through the pack to start his flying lap, in which he lost quarter of a second through each of the first two sectors before an error in the final sector.
Horner admitted to having been slightly worried about Hamilton having an extra opportunity to set a better laptime, but was happy to stick with the two run strategy that Red Bull used.
I was a little concerned because, obviously, Lewis had an extra set
of tyres available in Q3," Horner told Sky Sports F1, "but experience told us before that you can end up being a bit rushed with your out laps and so on. So, in the end, I was happy with the strategy we had.
"It's something we've looked at previously but it puts you under so much pressure on the out laps, you can't do your build laps in the way that you want, it puts everything much more condensed, but it's just a different way to go about it."
With Max Verstappen taking an emphatic pole by two tenths of a second over Valtteri Bottas, it marks Red Bull's first back to back pole position since the end of 2013 and their first at their own circuit.
That was our first ever pole here," Horner beamed.
"Fantastic qualifying from the team and for Max to get two laps, that were good enough for the pole when it's so close, it was a great performance."
Having seen off the Mercedes challenge, Horner admitted he thought their championship rivals would have had more pace for qualifying.
"We thought that they had a little bit more in hand, but the temperature has gone up a little bit and that's affected the cars," Horner explained
"It's such fine margins at the moment between the two teams that I think we've just managed to get within a window that you know certainly Max is very happy with and extract a good lap."
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