Team boss Christian Horner was lacking in enthusiasm for the way Max Verstappen won the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday. The Dutchman booked the eighth victory in his career at the Interlagos circuit.
Verstappen also took revenge for last year's Grand Prix in Brazil. The Red Bull Racing driver also seemed to be on his way to victory, but had to settle for second place with a touché with Esteban Ocon.
"This was redemption for Max", a satisfied Horner said after the race, which Verstappen had started on pole position. "We were preparing for the race with only one goal and that was winning. From the moment the lights went out, Max was in the lead and he brilliantly controlled the race."
The Red Bull team boss also had praise for his colleague Hannah Schmitz, who helped determine the tactics during the race. On her advice, Verstappen plunged into the pits in the final phase of the race in the lead position, when the safety car came onto the track due to the failed Valtteri Bottas.
The tactic worked, because on a set of new tires, Verstappen managed to overtake Lewis Hamilton and simply hold onto the lead. "It was terribly difficult to determine whether we should send Max into the lead in the lead position," Horner said. "Hannah advised you and that's why we did it. It turned out to be the right tactic."
Max Verstappen recorded the eighth win in his career. (Photo: Pro Shots)
"Albon can leave Brazil with its head held high"
For Verstappen's teammate Alexander Albon, the Grand Prix ended in a minor. The Thai seemed to be on their way to a deserving second place, but in the penultimate lap they were the victims of a risky catch-up attempt by Hamilton. The Mercedes driver hit Albon and he fell far back in the field due to a spin.
"Lewis tried to pass Alex, but the room to do that was getting smaller and smaller and they touched each other," Horner regretted. "Alex's second place has gone through his nose, but he was again a very strong race and can leave Brazil with his head held high."
Engine supplier Honda can look back anyway at a strong Grand Prix, because Toro Rosso driver Pierre Gasly rode through the spin from Albon to second place and finished for the first time in his career on the podium.
"Congratulations to Pierre, because he has had a strong weekend", Horner said of the Frenchman, who had to give his seat at Red Bull to Albon mid-season and was returned to Toro Rosso. "Overall it was a positive weekend for both the Red Bull teams and Honda."
See also: Superior Verstappen wins spectacular Grand Prix of Brazil