Horner: Red Bull never imagined leaving European season undefeated

Red Bull made it 14 wins from 14 races at Monza, and its significance wasn't lost on Christian Horner.

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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says his team’s undefeated run so far in 2023 is something he could have never imagined.

The team made it 14 wins from as many races so far this season as Max Verstappen took the chequered flag from teammate Sergio Perez at the 2023 Italian Grand Prix.

The result means Verstappen now holds the record for most consecutive victories with 10, which wasn’t lost on Horner after the race.

“It’s an amazing result,” Horner told reporters, including Total-Motorsport, after Sunday’s race.

“Ferrari getting pole position yesterday, you could see what it meant to the Tifosi. Certainly last night outside my hotel, I was in the same hotel as the Ferrari drivers, it was around 1 a.m. that they finally quieted down.

“We knew we had a quick car. Ferrari were very fast on the straights today and Max could see they were a littler harder on the rear tyres, and that was part of our strategy in terms of the setup that we adopted knowing that the temperatures were going to be a little bit higher today.

“Carlos defended very hard and robustly which you would in a Ferrari around Monza, but finally Max was able to get that pass done and Checo as well, first passing George [Russell], then Charles [Leclerc] and then Carlos.

“To get that 1-2 finish, and for Max to become on his own as the most consecutive wins at 10 victories is quite outstanding.”

Perfect season still possible?

The result means Red Bull still have a chance of achieving the perfect season, though it doesn’t appear Horner is considering that prospect at this time.

“To have won 14 races out of 14 so far, to be leaving the European season undefeated is something we could have never imagined,” said Horner.

“To win a Grand Prix is hard enough, to win 14 in a row or 24 out of the past 25, that means every single member of the team doing their part.

“We’re racing against some massive opponents and we’re just taking it one race at a time. The next race in Singapore is a street circuit, it’s one of the toughest on the calendar and we saw last year how perilous it can be.

“So we’ll just do our best to keep this momentum running.”

Problems for Verstappen?

Verstappen appeared to ease his pace towards the end of the race, but Horner noted that the move was a precautionary one given the high temperatures in Italy on Sunday.

“We were just managing some temperature issues and we just didn’t want to take any risks,” said Horner.

“It was stinking hot day, and we had a couple of temperatures that were under control, but there a bunch of cars ahead of [Pierre] Gasly and we just didn’t want to run in dirty air so that’s why we took it a little easy in the last few laps.”

Adriano Boin
Motorsport journalist specialising in Formula 1 and Ferrari.
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