Christian Horner says he would use the word “unbelievable” to describe Red Bull’s season after the team won the constructors’ championship at the 2023 Japanese Grand Prix.
The team hit the ground running in the season-opener in Bahrain, with Max Verstappen often lapping a second faster than the next nearest non-Red Bull car whilst Sergio Perez went on to finish 26 seconds ahead of Fernando Alonso.
Fifteen races later the team have only been defeated once, in Singapore, and have sealed the team’s title with six races to go and Verstappen is poised to win the drivers’ championship in Qatar on October 6-8.
“Unbelievable is one word,” Horner told the media. “Last year was a very strong year for us, but to have kept that momentum rolling, with the challenges that we’ve had, is a testimony to the to all the men and women in the team that work tirelessly to produce a car that’s competitive, so that the drivers and particularly Max has been able to make such good use of.
“Formula 1 is one of the biggest team sports in the world and I think it’s the result of all of those 22 different departments, from all the support functions, all of the backroom staff that have worked crazy hours and the sacrifices that they’ve made, to produce these kinds of cars and this kind of result and everybody is invested in one thing, and that’s the car.
“To produce the kind of car that we have and achieve these kinds of results has been an incredible performance.”
Singapore reminded Red Bull to stay humble
After winning every race prior to the Singapore GP, the team got a nasty shock as to just how quickly F1 can change.
Verstappen went from his races against the other 19 drivers only being surviving the start, to eliminated in the second phase of qualifying as Red Bull struggled with the balance of their car.
Come the race, things improved but they found themselves as the fourth-fastest package behind Mercedes, McLaren and Ferrari.
Subsequently unable to retain their 100 percent record, Verstappen had to settle for fifth place after being overtaken rapidly at a safety car restart, whilst Perez spent much of the race getting into collisions and languishing outside of the points.
“I think to repeat a season like this is, it’s a golden one with the team and to do better than we’re doing, I think it’s impossible,” Horner added. “So I think we’re on a we’re riding a wave and of course, we want to try and ride that wave as long as we can.
“But F1 is a fast moving business, you see how quickly teams move up and move down and Singapore, if nothing else, demonstrates that can be zero complacency, that we have to keep pushing the boundaries.”