Christian Horner didn’t hide his disappointment after Red Bull had their worst qualifying performance of the 2022 F1 season at the Hungarian GP on Saturday.
Although Ferrari headed into the weekend as favourites, the expectation was the Milton Keynes outfit would continue their season-long battle with the Scuderia around the Hungaroring.
However, while Ferrari will line-up second and third on the grid for Sunday’s race, Red Bull have a bit of work to do after qualifying 10th and 11th.
Horner reflected on the session and explained the reasons behind Sergio Perez‘s Q2 exit and Max Verstappen‘s power unit issues at the end of Q3.
“Frustrating, to lose Checo in Q2, he got a bit of traffic at Turn 2,” Horner told Sky Sports F1.
“And then actually, Max felt a lot more comfortable with the balance of the car today and I think we were in with a shot of the pole, but a lock-up on the first run into Turn 2 immediately put us on the backfoot.
“But, still, we felt confident that we could have a crack at it and unfortunately, a power unit related issue [for Max] on his out-lap, we’re obviously trying to reset sensors and so on to try and cure it and clear it, but unfortunately, it wasn’t to be.
“So, no representative time for Max in Q3, so 10th and 11th on the grid, so it’s going to be a busy race tomorrow, but congrats to George Russell on his first pole, it looked a pretty tidy lap.”
Front row was possible for Verstappen
The disappointing day means Red Bull have it all to do in on Sunday, as Verstappen will look to defend his 63-point advantage over Leclerc, who starts third.
Horner believes Verstappen had the pace to challenge for a front row starting position, leaving him optimistic heading into Sunday’s race.
“Well, the wind got a little gusty in Q3,” he said. “Look, I don’t know, on theoreticals, I think Max was at the very least fourth and the track was improving.
“I think we could have had a shot at the very least at the front row today. So, at least it’s happened today, not tomorrow. So, we’ll race hard from there and give it everything.”