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Horner: 2019 was 'beyond Red Bull's expectations'

  • Published on 05 Dec 2019 08:21
  • comments 0
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes the 2019 Formula 1 season exceeded the energy drink squad's expectations. 

The team picked up three race wins and six further podiums at the hands of Max Verstappen, who ended the season third in the drivers' standings.

The 2019 campaign was Red Bull's first in partnership with Honda, who joined forces with it following a successful year with Red Bull's junior team Toro Rosso in 2018.

Horner praised the Japanese manufacturer for its deliverance of a strong power unit this year, hailing its improved reliability and performance. 

"I think it really has been beyond expectations in many respects," Horner said. "The relationship with Honda has been fantastic, the reliability, the performance, the increase with each engine has been very much the highlight."

Horner admits that he was left impressed by the displays of Verstappen this year, who took part in his fourth year with Red Bull.

The Dutchman filtered through two teammates during the year, originally pairing up with Pierre Gasly before he was replaced midway through the year by Alexander Albon.

"I think the way that Max has driven as well has been very, very positive. We obviously had the driver change halfway through the year, and I think that was the right thing to do.

"Alex got a seat in the car for next year and we go into the winter on the back of a very promising result here in Abu Dhabi with a lot of motivation."

Verstappen's Abu Dhabi turbo lag didn't change race result

Verstappen ended the season finale in Abu Dhabi in second place, while Albon was sixth - the Thai-British driver said his race was compromised by Red Bull's determination to beat Sebastian Vettel.

Verstappen was heard over the race explaining about 'turbo lag', which Horner affirmed didn't change the outcome of the 22-year-old's race.

"He picked up a bit of turbo lag after the pit stop, we’ll investigate why that happened," Horner said. "You could hear the switch changes that were going on to try and help it.

"It was just not optimal for Max wanting to get the performance out of the car. The turbo lag interrupts your rhythm over a lap. The result would have been the same."

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