CHRISTIAN HORNER ADDRESSES DOUBT OVER RED BULL TEAM BOSS POSITION FOR SAUDI GRAND PRIX

Following a dominant start to the F1 2024 campaign for Red Bull, team boss Christian Horner firmly shut down the idea that he may not be in the role come Round 2 in Saudi Arabia.

After Max Verstappen claimed the first pole position up for grabs this season in Bahrain, the three-time World Champion converted that into a dominant victory on Grand Prix Sunday.

Christian Horner will be Red Bull team boss at Saudi Arabian GP

Sergio Perez meanwhile battled his way from P5 on the grid to a P2 finish, confirming a Red Bull one-two at the Bahrain International Circuit, with Verstappen also claiming the fastest lap bonus point to ensure that Red Bull take full points away from the opening round of F1 2024.

That on-track statement of intent comes at a time of upheaval off-track for Red Bull and Horner, with the team boss issuing a statement following a leak of alleged evidence behind a recent Red Bull GmbH investigation into him, which saw Horner cleared of any wrongdoing.

And speaking to Sky F1 following the Bahrain Grand Prix, Horner was asked whether Red Bull are a team united off the track as well as on it?

“Yes, absolutely,” he said. “We’re a very strong team. We’ve got tremendous support. We’ve got tremendous partners, great shareholders behind us as well.

“You don’t achieve this kind of result by not being united.”

On the subject of shareholders, it was brought up to Horner that he had been talking to Red Bull GmbH co-owner Chalerm Yoovidhya on the grid pre-Bahrain Grand Prix.

And so, he was asked as a result whether he is confident that he has the support of the Red Bull higher-ups and will still be Red Bull team principal, a role he has held throughout the team’s existence, come next week’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix?

“Yeah absolutely, I wouldn’t be here otherwise,” Horner insisted.

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It looks already like Red Bull are well-positioned for a fresh title challenge in F1 2024, with the highest non-Red Bull finisher in Bahrain, Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, 25 seconds behind Verstappen at the chequered flag.

However, Horner is not ready to prepare a victory dance yet, arguing not much can be determined based off the results on one track, while Horner also believes that Red Bull saving and running a set of soft C3 tyres on both cars in the final stint artificially stretched the gap to the chasing pack.

“It’s a great start, it’s a one-off, it’s one circuit, it’s one surface, it’s very cool temperatures,” said Horner.

“Next week, street track, much higher temperatures, I think we’re going to have to see three, four, five races before you see a true pattern.

“What we saw in testing is the field has converged, so you can’t base too much on this one race.

“We took an extra soft tyre into the race that distorts that last stint as well. We’re surprised other didn’t do that, but a great performance by Max, great performance by Checo [Perez] and perfect start to the season.”

Red Bull have settled into their familiar position at the top of the very early Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship standings after their Bahrain masterclass.

Read next – Bahrain Grand Prix: Verstappen’s title defence off to perfect start as Ferrari rivalry gets spicy

2024-03-02T18:13:34Z dg43tfdfdgfd