Red Bull team principal Christian Horner wants Max Verstappen to get the frustration of consecutive retirements out of his system ahead of the Russian Grand Prix.
Verstappen was second in the drivers’ championship but failed to finish at either Monza or Mugello in part due to power unit concerns, with the latter seeing him lacking power after jumping Lewis Hamilton at the start and then dropping back through the field. Now 80 points off the championship lead and having lost a chance of victory at Mugello, Horner said Verstappen will be shown what work Red Bull and Honda have been doing to try and avoid a repeat in Sochi.
“Max’s frustration at another DNF is totally understandable,” Horner said. “From the very first lap in Mugello he was on it. We had a very fast car and some real progress has been made with the balance of the car. That is what was so galling for him. In the heat of the moment, when you have gone from the adrenaline of the start to the disappointment of ending up in the gravel trap, it is only natural to vent on the radio.
“We really felt that in the race we could take the fight to Mercedes. He had done the hard work in beating Lewis off the line and it was going to be game on, but of course that did not materialize.
“It was the second race in a row and a huge frustration for him because he is hungry and wants it so badly. If he did not have that hunger, he would not be the driver he is and the one that we all want to watch fight for victories each weekend.
“He has to get it out of his system now and then look forward. We will go through it with him prior to Sochi and discuss what has been done behind the scenes between Honda and the team to help so it is rectified for the next race.”
Meanwhile, Horner had words of praise for Honda after Pierre Gasly’s win in Monza, meaning the Japanese manufacturer has now won with both Red Bull and AlphaTauri.
“They are the only engine manufacturer to win races with two different teams in the hybrid era, which is a phenomenal achievement. They share the pain and the gain from winning and losing and we have a true partnership. We really enjoy working with everyone at Honda and together we are fully focused on resolving the issues we have had recently. We all have one goal — to win an F1 championship together.”