Red Bull boss Christian Horner says the win in Austin was ‘big’ from their perspective because this Texas track has been Mercedes ’‘ stronghold ’for years. Mercedes have celebrated in 5 of the last 6 races in Austin, and since the beginning of the hybrid era only they have won pole position on this track.
"This is a big win because this has been such a stronghold for Lewis and Mercedes," Horner said. Mercedes came to Texas with a big favorite label given how fast they have always been at COTA, but Red Bull, led by Max Verstappen, defeated them in qualifying.
But Hamilton overtook Verstappen at the start, but the Dutchman regained his position after his earlier pit trip and was the first to cross the finish line. "Pole was a huge moment for us, and then we turned it into a victory even though we weren't leading in the first round.
This was a great team show, "adds Horner. The weekend, however, did not go well for Red Bull as they were almost a second slower than the Mercedes drivers in the first free practice. "On Friday, in the first training session, we were caught on the wrong foot and it seemed that a difficult weekend awaited us.
But the whole team worked very hard and we managed to make a turnaround. "
Continuation of the season
Verstappen's victory and Perez's third place meant that Red Bull won more points than Mercedes for the first time since the Belgian GP in one race.
"This is a great team victory. Checo is on the podium. We won 40 points, this was a great day for us. " However, Horner stresses that it is still too early for the team to be convinced of Verstappen winning the title.
"There are 5 races left, we still have 130 points at our disposal and we are only 12 points in the lead. It’s great that we’ve increased the lead here." "10 laps before the end, it looked like we were going to go with the same number of points or be behind, so this is a great result — but we still have big races ahead of us, ”added the Red Bull boss.
Just a great race in Austin could be the key to the rest of the season, but Mercedes can never be written off, given the quality of staff and drivers. Still, we'll see how they manage.