Red Bull Formula 1 team principal Christian Horner reveals how the team took the decision to run Max Verstappen on the soft compound tyres for the 2022 Hungarian Grand Prix on the grid before the formation lap.
Despite starting 10th on the grid Verstappen won the Hungarian Grand Prix with Red Bull executing two well-timed pit stops to aide the Dutchman. While Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc struggled with the hard compound tyre after his second pit stop, a shrewd call by Red Bull saw Verstappen start the race on the soft compound tyres, a decision which ultimately won him the race.
“We switched our strategy on the grid,” Horner told Sky Sports after the race.
“Going to the grid both drivers felt they were struggling to generate temperature into the soft tyre, which was the tyre to get to the grid and we were due to the start the race on the hard tyre.
“We switched it on the grid to deal with the ambient conditions and a bit of rain and so on and the soft tyre went much longer than we thought and so at that point we’ve committed to a two-stop and I think the key moment for us was when we saw Charles [Leclerc] go onto the hard tyre, we thought okay we’ve really got a chance now. “
Red Bull not taking anything for granted
Despite Verstappen now opening an 80-point lead over Leclerc in the 2022 Drivers’ Championship, Horner believes anything can happen with nine races left in the season.
“Look it’s a very healthy lead but it’s an awful lot of racing to go,” Horner continued.
“Things can go wrong, we had some reliability issues today obviously with the clutch that could have been quite easily a DNF but thankfully it wasn’t. We had a failure yesterday and 12 kilometers later and it would have been on the way to the grid.
“There’s some areas we can still improve on and there’s still an awful lot of racing still to do and Ferrari they’ve got a very quick car, and Mercedes you can see they’re coming back at us.”
With Ferrari struggling once again Red Bull now have a lead of 97 points over Ferrari in the Constructors’ Champion with the Italian team now being caught by Mercedes who are only 30 points behind the team many expected to win the championship.