Red Bull boss Christian Horner says the only positives out of the Austrian GP is “that it’s over.”
Horner’s testy response comes after the racing outfit confidently touted their chance at putting Mercedes on the backfoot early ahead of the resumption of the F1 season just days ago, but failed miserably with star drivers Max Verstappen and Alex Albon both bowing out.
Red Bull had boldly spruiked a new and improved power unit that was unleashed on Sunday evening amid a revamped season schedule that played directly into the Austrian’s hands – but come Monday morning, the outfit had next to nothing to show for it.
Verstappen was running second before an electrical failure ended his race within the opening laps while Albon collided with Lewis Hamilton when challenging for his position late in the race, leaving Red Bull with zero points.
It’s a massive blow for the team – particularly after their success at Red Bull Ring last year – made all them more embarrassing by the team’s daring claims just days ago.
Despite the failure, Horner believed the outfit had a genuine change of winning the 2020 opener before mechanical issues cruelled their vehicles.
“(We were) in a position to challenge for victory with both Max early on — because we got the (medium) tyre call right there and he would have had a really positive afternoon — and then for a second time with Alex,” he said.
“To come away with zero points in what is going to be a shortened season, feels pretty brutal.”
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Horner was unhappy with Hamilton’s role in the pivotal Turn Five incident that ended Albon’s race, but Verstappen’s early DNF was arguably the bigger blow.
“Mercedes were very quick in that first stint but then they turned the engines down after that first stop,” added Horner.
“As soon as they did that they came back to our straight-line speed.
“I think Max on that different strategy could have really played out well for him.
“We’ve got some pace to find this week before next weekend, some work to do, and of course we’ll try and come back in a week’s time and do a bit better.”