Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says Max Verstappen’s victory in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix bodes well because he expects the car to have big development potential.
Verstappen was in the mix for victory in Bahrain before a late fuel system issue forced his retirement, although Charles Leclerc looked to have the race under control by then. In Jeddah, Verstappen overtook Leclerc late on to take his first win of the season and Horner says the car was designed with its development in mind rather than hitting the front from the first races.
“I think you can see there’s big variance of interpretations of the rules and we’ve come up with a creative solution and it gives us good potential for the season ahead,” Horner said. “So to get this early victory is fantastic for the whole team.
“We’ve learned some good lessons. What I’m particularly pleased with is we probably came onto the development of this car later than our rivals.
“The whole team in Milton Keynes after the effort that went into 16B last year, the lateness of that championship, the pressed time for this car, they’ve worked incredibly hard, this is just the kind of result that injects a whole bunch of energy into the factory.”
Horner says he saw a maturity in Verstappen’s driving in each of the first two races, and is glad to see it pay off with a result in Saudi Arabia after the disappointment of Bahrain.
“It was great to rebound after the issues we had and what a great race. It was a very strategic race for Max, not taking too much out of the tires to make sure he had enough to attack at the end, and some great racing between him and Charles, thankfully he had enough to hang on.
“I thought it was a very mature fight by Max, he looked after the tires, made sure he had tires left at the end. He worked things out, a bit of cat and mouse at the DRS line, but then he worked out where he needed to be, nailed the pass, and just had enough to hold Charles off.”