Horner thinks Mercedes was "probably sandbagging" in FP2

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner thinks Mercedes was ‘sandbagging’ in Friday practice, as he played down the prospect of yet being in a position to overhaul the world champions.

Horner thinks Mercedes was "probably sandbagging" in FP2

While Max Verstappen topped the times in Friday’s second free practice session, as teams pushed harder than normal in case the order decided the grid, Horner was reluctant to read too much into the step forward his team had made.

“I think we've made progress since last week if I compare the two Fridays,” he said. “So that's encouraging.

“Mercedes is still strong, they are probably still sandbagging a little bit, but yeah, I think we've improved our car. And hopefully we can score some points this weekend unlike last weekend.”

Read Also:

Red Bull has continued to experiment with a new nose concept on its cars, but both drivers said they felt the RB16 felt better after struggling with the balance last weekend.

Horner admitted that work had focused on making the car easier for Max Verstappen and Alex Albon to push to the limit.

“We obviously have been working hard on the setup and both drivers tried different things,” he added.

“But basically, we have made progress. The car isn't easy to drive, it is a tricky little circuit. But I think that we have managed to improve in areas that we were not as strong in last week.”

Verstappen was certainly happier with how much better the Red Bull has felt this weekend, having got on top of last weekend's balance struggles.

“I'm really a lot more satisfied with the car,” he told Ziggo Sport. “Just a different car, in terms of the way it feels. Much more predictable. So it doesn't suddenly break out anymore in a really weird way.

“Last weekend I had a spin at Turn 1 and I also went off at Turn 6. That was just because I couldn't feel properly what the car was going to do. Just because it was very nervous and breaking out very fast. We don't have that at all any more.

“So I'm very happy with that. I think we've taken a step forward. I'm not going to say that it’s immediately enough to beat Mercedes in qualifying. But from our side at least it's a car that's nicer to work with.”

shares
comments

Related video

F1 bracing for Sunday qualifying as storm hits Red Bull Ring

Previous article

F1 bracing for Sunday qualifying as storm hits Red Bull Ring

Next article

Final Styrian GP practice cancelled due to rain

Final Styrian GP practice cancelled due to rain
Load comments
Hungarian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Hungarian Grand Prix driver ratings

This was race that showcased the best and worst of Formula 1, producing a first time winner and a memorable comeback to a podium finish. Avoiding trouble at the start and astute strategy calls were key to success, but where some drivers took full advantage, others made key errors that cost them dearly

The "heart-breaking" call that led to Ocon's Hungarian GP triumph Prime

The "heart-breaking" call that led to Ocon's Hungarian GP triumph

Set to restart the red-flagged Hungarian Grand Prix in second, Esteban Ocon had some doubts when he peeled into the pits to swap his intermediate tyres for slicks. But this "heart-breaking" call was vindicated in spectacular fashion as the Alpine driver staved off race-long pressure from Sebastian Vettel for a memorable maiden Formula 1 victory

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Prime

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Prime

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall...

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Prime

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Prime

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed.

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Prime

How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Prime

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021