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Christian Horner

Horner warns of ‘challenge’ at Chinese GP

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has pointed out what he feels will be “another challenge” for his team to navigate at the Chinese Grand Prix.

Horner Japan 2
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To news overview © XPBimages

Christian Horner has given his thoughts on the next round of the F1 season, in China next weekend.

With the series returning to the Shanghai International Circuit for the first time in five years, the Red Bull team principal will be looking for Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez to build on his team’s two previous race victories there.

The Chinese Grand Prix debuted on the F1 calendar in 2004, a year before Red Bull entered the championship. Sebastian Vettel took the team’s first ever grand prix win at the 2009 edition of the race, whilst Daniel Ricciardo followed up on that victory in 2018.

“It's a good circuit,” Horner said to media including RacingNews365, when asked what he expected from returning to the track, adding: “The first corner goes on forever, and with the high-speed corners onto the back street as well, it's always been very punishing on the front left tyre.”

In addition to being the first-time contemporary ground-effect era F1 cars will race in Shanghai, the circuit has also been resurfaced. Further still, the Chinese Grand Prix will be the first of this season’s six sprint weekends – something Horner views as a “challenge”.

“It's got a sprint race as well, first sprint race of the year – so that's another challenge. A lot of points available, so it’ll be interesting to see how that goes.”

'We expect them to probably be our closest competitor'

Having started the year with consecutive one-two finishes in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, a brake failure forced Verstappen into retirement in Australia, whilst Perez was unable to recover from starting sixth, as he struggled with a car issue.

Red Bull returned to form in Japan, taking maximum points from the race, with Verstappen wrapping up the fastest lap point en route to leading his team-mate to the chequered flag.

After the race, Horner touched on how Ferrari’s strong performance in Melbourne, and its showing at Suzuka, might provide an indication as to what to expect in China.

“Yeah, I think that Ferrari definitely at that circuit [Albert Park] were competitive, and we saw on Friday that their race pace was competitive – and we expect them to probably be our closest competitor there [in China].”

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