Red Bull Racing Team Principal, Christian Horner, speaks about Checo's maturity. Meanwhile, even after a double DNF on the streets of Baku, Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto insists that this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix is not a must-win event for his team.
Max Verstappen’s 80-point swing to Charles Leclerc in the last 5 races means the Dutchman is top of the Drivers’ Championship on 150 points. Scuderia Ferrari’s talismanic racer is not even second place in the table at present, after Sergio Perez’ Monaco Grand Prix victory and P2 in Baku means the Mexican racer looks well placed in the standings 13 points in front of Leclerc.
In post-race remarks to the media in Baku, Red Bull Racing Team Principal, Christian Horner, reflected on his team's 1-2 finish at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. However, he also spoke in a way showing his (and his team's feet) are well and truly on the ground. The Milton Keynes based racing outfit has no intention of getting ahead of themselves even though they are 80 points ahead of their nearest rival - Scuderia Ferrari.
With so much of the season remaining and Red Bull Racing performing so impressively after early reliability issues, there are some who criticised the team’s call for there to be ‘no fighting’ on track in Baku. Even though Sergio Perez was in front at the time, Christian Horner explained how he did not see the comment as ‘strictly team orders’ due to the considerable difference in pace between the two drivers. Further information in the link below.
The reason that Sergio Perez found himself in such a position to begin with, according to Christian Horner, was because of the set-up of the Mexican racer’s car seemingly being weighted too heavily towards qualifying which meant it suffered on race day. These comments could go some way to explain the pace difference and tyre degradation issues after Perez had qualified in front of his teammate the previous day.
"I think Checo is a mature guy, he gets the bigger picture, and he gets that it's a long, long championship. He's in the form of his career off the back of Monaco, and with his qualified performance," said Horner. "I think maybe, with the benefit of hindsight, there was perhaps too much weight put on qualifying in his set-up, with the rear deg that he experienced [in the Grand Prix] That's something to have a look at,” Horner predicted.
Elsewhere on the grid, Scuderia Ferrari have plenty of issues to deal with which are causing them headaches, literal headaches in the case of Carlos Sainz. The Spaniard’s remarks on porpoising show he is also getting behind the call for a change in rules. However, such a move would surely impact the speed of Scuderia Ferrari. This issue was commented on post-race by Mattia Binotto to select media which included Motorlat.
“On the porpoising, something we discussed as well during the FIA press call, I understand that for drivers it’s not easy to drive in such conditions. If I look at the porpoising on Carlos, who as you said is one of the drivers supporting that [call for change], I think we improved the behaviour of the propoising through the weekend. He had less bouncing today than what he had on Friday so there’s a way to mitigate on the setup.” Binotto stated showing how he also regards the issue in the same way as Christian Horner - that teams can easily fix it themselves.
After neither Scuderia Ferrari car saw the chequered flag in Baku, many die hard Ferrari fans –Tifosi - may be starting to worry that this could not in fact be their year. Team Principal, Mattia Binotto has no such worries and is aware that there are many races still to come. So much so, that he considers this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix to not be a must-win race for his drivers despite Red Bull Racing holding an 80-point lead over his team at present. "I don't think it is a must-win, at all. We will be focused race-by-race [and] try to optimise our potential." Binotto stated to the media after Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
With just 8 Grands Prix completed in 2022 there certainly are still many race weekends to come – 18 more. This weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix will bring with it: the next chapter of the porpoising drama; more anxiety over Ferrari reliability as well as inter-team duelling on track at Red Bull Racing. However, if it also brings a 26th Formula One race victory the way of Max Verstappen, there will be many considering the championship already finished. However, don’t expect to find any such people at Red Bull Racing as they continue to take it one weekend at a time.