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Christian Horner

Horner reveals Verstappen concern in Jeddah: Your heart immediately sinks

It was another strong result for Red Bull at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, but Christian Horner admits that a possible reliability worry sparked some concerns for the team during the race.

Verstappen Horner
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Christian Horner admits that a possible reliability concern for Max Verstappen during the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix made his "heart immediately sink".

Verstappen had experienced a driveshaft issue in Saturday's qualifying session which left him unable to progress beyond Q2. The Dutchman consequently started from 15th on the grid but eventually found himself running in second behind teammate Sergio Perez.

While another 1-2 result looked to be on the cards for the squad, Horner was left fearing the worst when Verstappen reported a potential problem with his RB19.

Horner on 'biggest point of concern' in race

"I think once we got to the last five laps, and it was clear that Max wasn't going to catch, then they came out of it and drove to the lap time," Horner told media, including RacingNews365.com.

"I think the biggest point of concern for us during the Grand Prix was when Max radioed in – I think with about 15 laps to go – saying he could hear a high-pitched noise at high speed.

"So your heart immediately sinks, and [we were] thinking about the driveshaft failure of [Saturday].

"But, checking all the data that we have here [and] everything that they could see back in Milton Keynes, all the parameters we had looked okay.

"Obviously, then they pushed on again, but an amazing recovery [from Verstappen], 15th to second."

How Red Bull approached managing drivers

When asked about how the team approached managing the pace of Perez and Verstappen during the latter stages of the race, Horner suggested that the bigger concern was in regards to managing the possible reliability worries.

"There's always going to be that when you're the lead car, you always want to know that the tow car has hit the target first," Horner explained.

"So that's entirely normal. I think for us as a team, we were concerned about if there was a reliability issue, how do we manage that?

"Once we saw there was no issue that we could see in the data, it was a question of letting them get on with it, and then basically [have them] both managing the last five laps."

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Check out the video below:

F1 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier


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