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Red Bull: Beating both Mercedes in qualifying a 'tall order'

  • Published on 04 Jul 2020 13:24
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  • By: Fergal Walsh

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes it will be a tall order for Red Bull to beat both Mercedes drivers during qualifying in Austria.

After final practice at the Red Bull Ring, Max Verstappen set a lap time good enough for third place but was almost three tenths down on session leader Lewis Hamilton.

Most of Verstappen's time was lost through the final sector, with Horner admitting that it needs to tidy up in that area in order to be competitive - however, the Briton expressed satisfaction with the progress Red Bull has made since Friday.

“We made progress with the car overnight,” Horner told Sky F1. “I think it's more representative of where we're at. Mercedes look very strong. We've got a couple of corners we need to tidy up.

“By the time we arrive at Turn 7 we're nip and tuck with them. But through 7 and 9, Lewis is very strong through there. That's the area we need to focus on to gain more time through quali.”

When asked if Red Bull could find itself ahead of both Mercedes cars at the end of qualifying, Horner said: “I think there's a possibility to get one of them, to get both of them, that's a tall order.

“But we're progressing with the car, we're learning about the updates. If we can tidy up Turn 7 and those last few turns, we can get closer still.”

Albon losing time in slow-speed corners

The second Red Bull driven by Alexander Albon was three-tenths down on the sister car after the final practice session.

Horner explained that Albon is losing time in the slow-speed corners, but is matching teammate Verstappen in the high-speed sections.

“He's [Albon] obviously building up and up,” Horner said. “He's dropping a little bit of time time to Max in the slow speed stuff, Turn 1 and at the top of the hill.

“He's matching him in the high speed which you think is the tricky bit, but there's so much time in the slow-speed corners and that's where Max, particularly here, is very strong.”

Red Bull has won the last two races at the Red Bull Ring, with Verstappen qualifying on the front row last year. 

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Formula 1 Calendar - 2020

Date
Grand Prix
Circuit
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Spain
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Spain
3 - Jul 5 2020
Austria
10 - Jul 12 2020
Austria
17 - Jul 19 2020
Hungary
31 - Aug 2 2020
United Kingdom
7 - Aug 9 2020
United Kingdom
14 - Aug 16 2020
Spain
28 - Aug 30 2020
Belgium
4 - Sep 6 2020
Italy
11 - Sep 13 2020
Italy
25 - Sep 27 2020
Russian
9 - Oct 11 2020
Germany
23 - Oct 25 2020
Portugal
31 - Nov 1 2020
Italy
13 - Nov 15 2020
Turkey
27 - Nov 29 2020
Bahrain
11 - Dec 13 2020
United Arab Emirates
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Formula 1 Calendar - 2020

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
3 - Jul 5 2020
Austria Red Bull Ring
10 - Jul 12 2020
Austria Red Bull Ring
17 - Jul 19 2020
Hungary Hungaroring
31 - Aug 2 2020
United Kingdom Silverstone
7 - Aug 9 2020
United Kingdom Silverstone
14 - Aug 16 2020
28 - Aug 30 2020
4 - Sep 6 2020
Italy Monza
11 - Sep 13 2020
Italy Mugello
25 - Sep 27 2020
Russian Sochi Autodrom
9 - Oct 11 2020
Germany Nurburgring
23 - Oct 25 2020
31 - Nov 1 2020
13 - Nov 15 2020
Turkey Istanbul Park
27 - Nov 29 2020
11 - Dec 13 2020
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
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