Saudi Arabian F1 GP 2023: Red Bull boss insists Max Verstappen has a ‘mountain to climb’

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes Max Verstappen has a long race ahead of him in Saudi Arabia after a frustrating qualifying result. The Briton felt that Sergio Perez needed a clean race and perfect execution while the Dutchman will have a tough race from 15th on the grid.

Expressing his views on Red Bull’s qualifying result ahead of the Saudi Arabian GP, ​​Horner said on Saturday:

“The story of two qualifying sessions there today. First of all, a brilliant performance from Checo. He drove incredibly well and had a fantastic lap which put him on pole; his second pole here in Jeddah “, consecutively. On the other hand, it’s extremely frustrating for Max. A driveshaft failure knocked him out of qualifying as we really started in Q2.

“His lap in Q1 would have put him in P4 for tomorrow’s race. It’s a real shame, but we’re already figuring out what’s at stake. Max has a mountain to climb from 15th, but knowing Max , he’s going to step up to the challenge and it’s sure to be interesting to see what he achieves. For Checo, it’s all about sticking to the strategy, staying out of trouble and surviving those early rounds. action to come and much to look forward to.”

The defending champion qualified 15th for the race, after being eliminated from Q2, due to a broken driveshaft. The Red Bull team is confident the Dutchman will be on the grid throughout the race, but wanted both cars to have the best grid positions for the race.

Max Verstappen discusses reasons for poor qualifying, thinks it will be an unpredictable race

Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen said his car’s driveshaft broke during qualifying without warning, leading to him being eliminated from the second session. The Dutch champion also mentioned that his car was running well throughout the weekend and there were no signs of problems until Q2.

He thinks the race in Jeddah will be very unpredictable and they have their work cut out for them. Speaking after the Saudi Arabian GP qualifying session, Verstappen said:

“The driveshaft broke in turn 10 at the rear right, so that was it for qualifying. It happened really out of the blue. We hadn’t had any problems before that. C was boring because the car was good so far. I was comfortable in every session and every time I was on the track. I was fast, so for sure we could have fight for pole.

“Instead we now have a bit more work ahead of us tomorrow but that’s what it is, it’s a long championship and we’ll stay positive. I think a win is tricky from this. position but I will try to score as many points as possible. It will be difficult to get ahead, but we will not give up. Everything is possible on this circuit. We have seen some crazy things here, but we have to be realistic. It will be difficult, but we have a good rhythm so, for sure, we will move forward.

Starting 15th on the grid will be a long race for the two-time champion, so a clean, trouble-free race will be key to getting a good result.

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Edited by Akshay Saraswat


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