Horner defends Red Bull decision to confront Verstappen

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Red Bull boss Christian Horner said the team had their own tire concerns when they decided to face Max Verstappen late in the British Grand Prix.

It’s easy to spot him in retrospect, but Verstappen might have won the British Grand Prix if Red Bull had decided to keep their star driver on the track in the later stages.

This is because both Mercedes drivers suffered punctures which forced Lewis Hamilton to crawl over the winning line and Valtteri Bottas fell from P2 to P11.

Verstappen did his best to shut down Hamilton’s injured W11 but had to settle for P2 after choosing to fight just before chaos ensued.

But Horner said Verstappen’s tire was also in very poor condition and there was “no guarantee” that the Dutchman would not have suffered the same fate as the two Mercedes drivers.

“We had vibrations, we saw Bottas’ puncture, we could see that we had a big groove on our tire, so we chose to stand and put on the soft, to try to score the point for the fastest lap too, ”Horner said via Sky Sports F1.

“The tire that came off Max’s car actually has a deep groove and quite a few lacerations, so there’s no guarantee it would have come to the end of the race, and then it would have been a completely different story again.

“Lewis took his chance and they had a great car today and he managed to get it home. Second place is still a very good result for us.

” I think they [Mercedes] were able to get back on the road enough and then they controlled the pace, ”said Horner.

“We can see that because the front tire was a bit of a concern here they got easy to do in turns 1, 2, 9, more than us.

“So we were surprised to see them get into the problem they had. We were already thinking of a stop 10 laps towards the end.

Verstappen, like Horner, was always happy to take the P2 amid all the late tire chaos with the Mercedes pair.

“I mean, it’s luck and bad luck, you know,” Verstappen said.

“They [Mercedes] were of course in the race too fast.

“And yes, the tires at one point, they didn’t look great, with 10 laps ago, so I was already on the radio [to say], “Guys, you know, the right front doesn’t look very pretty. ”

“Then, of course, Valtteri had a flat tire. I came to the radio as if I was pulling it back. Then they boxed me up to do the fastest lap.

“And then of course, unfortunately, Lewis got his own puncture. But you know, I’m very happy with the second one. it’s still a very good result for us

“It was pretty lonely. I was just trying to manage my pace, take care of the tires.

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