Horner’s Caution for Chinese Grand Prix

Christian Horner, the team principal of Red Bull, has highlighted a forthcoming hurdle his team anticipates encountering at the Chinese Grand Prix. Offering his insights on the upcoming segment of the F1 season set to take place in China next weekend, Horner is gearing up for the challenge ahead.

Returning to the Shanghai International Circuit after a hiatus of five years, Horner is optimistic about the prospects of his drivers, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, as they aim to capitalize on the team’s prior successes at the venue, having clinched victory on two previous occasions.

The inception of the Chinese Grand Prix on the F1 calendar dates back to 2004, a year preceding Red Bull’s entry into the championship arena. Sebastian Vettel secured the team’s maiden grand prix triumph at the 2009 race, with Daniel Ricciardo replicating the feat in 2018.

Expressing his sentiments to the media, Horner remarked on the circuit’s attributes, emphasizing its demanding nature. He remarked, “It’s a good circuit. The first corner goes on forever, and with the high-speed corners onto the back street as well, it’s always been very punishing on the front left tyre.”

In addition to serving as the debut event for contemporary ground-effect era F1 cars at Shanghai, the circuit has undergone resurfacing. Moreover, the Chinese Grand Prix marks the commencement of this season’s six sprint weekends, a factor that Horner perceives as a noteworthy challenge.

“It’s got a sprint race as well, first sprint race of the year – so that’s another challenge. A lot of points available, so it’ll be interesting to see how that goes.”

The year began on a high note for Red Bull with back-to-back one-two finishes in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. However, their momentum was interrupted when Verstappen suffered a brake failure, leading to his retirement in Australia.

Meanwhile, Perez faced difficulties recovering from a sixth-place start due to car issues. Red Bull bounced back in Japan, securing maximum points as Verstappen claimed the fastest lap point and led his teammate across the finish line.

Following the race, Horner reflected on Ferrari’s impressive performance in Melbourne and their strong showing at Suzuka, suggesting that these events could offer insights into what to anticipate in China.

“Yeah, I think that Ferrari definitely at that circuit [Albert Park] were competitive, and we saw on Friday that their race pace was competitive – and we expect them to probably be our closest competitor there [in China].”