Red Bull Reveal Secret to Verstappen's Austria Win

Lynette Rowe
July 4, 2018

Under the VSC, Red Bull Ferrari called their drivers into the pits, while Mercedes elected to leave Hamilton out.

A grim-faced Daniel Ricciardo showed how upset he felt Saturday by claiming Red Bull had treated him unfairly in qualifying at the Austrian Grand Prix.

It was clear running for Mr. Hamilton, as he took Top Spot from Verstappen early in the session and never gave it up.

After a torrid start to 2018, which drew stinging media criticism, Verstappen is now fifth in the world championship but still over 50 points behind leader Sebastian Vettel in the standings. We thought that the Virtual Safety Car would last for more than one lap, so we thought we would wait and see what happened to the guys behind us, see whether they stop or didn't stop, and make our decision on the second lap. The Dutchman managed the race from there on and fended off the two charging Ferraris in the closing laps to secure Red Bull's first win on home soil. "But at the moment I'm really happy with it".

Now, Red Bull chief Christian Horner has quashed any fears of a Ricciardo departure with his latest comments on the 29-year-old's contract situation.

Hamilton was in front from the start but lost his lead following a tactical mistake by his team, which did not pit him under a virtual safety vehicle while most other teams took the opportunity to switch to soft tires. Horner says the team is being realistic about where it can compete this season but has no doubts it can stay in the hunt. "A very, very mature drive by him".

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"He was constantly asking for information and managing those tyres and that is why they didn't blister up".

With the rear tyres placed under particular strain through the Red Bull Ring's tricky final two corners, Horner added: "He was pretty cute today, backed out through those right handers and made his time in the other parts of the circuit".

Verstappen started from fourth on the grid but took full advantage as the front-row-starting Mercedes duo of pole-sitter Finn Valtteri Bottas and Briton Lewis Hamilton were both forced to retire.

"This is the sport I signed up for as a kid", he said but added that: "If I could live my youth again, I would probably change it!"

Just when you think you've got it sussed, Formula One racing delivers another googly.

Horner also paid tribute to his team for pulling off a high-pressure double stacked stop during the virtual safety auto period that was called when Valtteri Bottas retired. "Red Bull Ring, Red Bull vehicle and Max driving an unbelievable race".

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