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The set-up mistake that helped Ferrari dominate Red Bull in Australia

Charles Leclerc crossed the line 20 seconds ahead of his nearest rival as he claimed victory at the Australian Grand Prix, marking his second win of the 2022 F1 season.

Christian Horner has set out one potential reason as to why Red Bull were lacking pace against Ferrari during the Australian Grand Prix weekend. Charles Leclerc left Melbourne having claimed pole position, the fastest lap and led every lap en route to his commanding victory. But it proved to be another frustrating weekend for Red Bull, especially on Max Verstappen's side of the garage. The World Champion found himself unable to keep up with Leclerc on Sunday, before retiring his car due to yet more reliability problems. As a result, Ferrari now count a 49-point lead over Red Bull in the Constructors' Championship standings after just three races.

Why Red Bull lost pace on Ferrari in Australia

Red Bull struggled with the balance of their car during Friday practice at the revised Albert Park and adopted a set-up they hoped would counter the problems during qualifying and the race. But as the temperature shifted on race day, and the newly resurfaced track began to rubber in, Red Bull say they were left with a balance inferior to that of Ferrari. "I think what we saw on Friday [meant] that we thought the race was going to be rear-limited, as we'd seen quite a lot of graining on rear tyres," Horner explained, speaking to select members of the media, including RacingNews365.com . "I think a combination of perhaps the surface rubbering in, and particularly the temperature, it then was almost an inverse problem. And having tried to counter the issues that we expected, we ended up with a car that was very front-limited. "That was why, I believe, we were out of the balance window with our car, so that's why we had a lot of graining, particularly on the Medium tyre. On the Hard tyre it was actually not too bad."

Horner: Ferrari were strong all weekend

As a result of their set-up miscalculation, Horner says Verstappen was unable to show the true potential of Red Bull's RB18 car. Leclerc, on his way to a second race win of the season, had built a 20-second gap over his nearest rival - the other Red Bull of Sergio Perez - before taking the chequered flag. He now leads the World Championship by 34 points and is 46 points clear of Verstappen. "We never got to see, obviously, Max's ultimate pace," Horner added. "I think we could have been more competitive, but I'm not sure we would have quite had [the pace to win]. Ferrari were very strong all weekend."

RESULTS 2024 F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - Qualifying