Red Bull boss Christian Horner says Ferrari were much faster than them in the Bahrain Grand Prix race, adding that entering the pits before them would bring them nothing because Leclerc was clearly faster. Racing with Charles Leclerc to win the opening of the 2022 season, the reigning world champion lagged behind Ferrari for most of the race, and Red Bull turned to a stoppage strategy in the pit to try to give his driver an advantage.
The Austrian team twice tried to do an undercut to get ahead of the Monezan, but they never succeeded. The Red Bull driver thought he could pass in front of Ferrari, but received a call from the team to be ‘gentler’ towards the tires, while the Dutchman was angry at such a move because he thought he could come ahead.
"Okay, this is now twice that I relaxed lightly in the car, and I could easily have been ahead. I will never do that again, "Verstappen said in the race. However, Horner was convinced that Ferrari’s pace was so strong, and if Verstappen had come out right in front of Leclerc, the Monegasque would have quickly returned to the front after a few turns.
"He (Verstappen) felt he could have done more, and I think that, combined with a slightly faster stop than Ferrari, put us very close." "But even if we passed, I think their pace was such that, since overtaking is a little easier now, we would just overtake it," explains Horner.
"They simply had a faster car, so I congratulate them on one or two finals, (while) zero points are difficult for us. But I think the positive thing we can take is that we had a competitive car, we fought to win the race in different places in that race, "he added.
"We have to solve these problems quickly, and the season is long, long: 23 races. We have to leave this behind and turn to the next race. "
Unfortunately for Verstappen and Red Bull, even 2nd place was eventually lost, Verstappen’s RB18 had problems with the fuel pump causing him to give up in the 55th lap.
The same fate befell Sergio Perez. On the other hand, the head of the Austrian team assures that the feedback from his drivers was a little easier to follow, and he thinks that the fight between Verstappen and Leclerc was great - something that is required for the hellish season.
“It looked great, I think the feedback from the drivers was generally a little easier to follow. The race between Max and Charles was great, that was exactly what we wanted, if we have such a season, it will be a hell of a season, "he claims.
"We just didn't have their (Ferrari) pace, their pace in sector 2… We were fast in sector 1, and in sector 2 they would steal a couple of tenths from us, so we couldn't handle it," Horner concluded.